Saturday, May 30, 2015

What does John Mayberry Jr.'s hot bat mean for Delmon Young?

Charlie Manuel rearranged his lineup Thursday so John Mayberry Jr. and Delmon Young could both play. Mayberry was swinging a hot bat. Young was not, but the manager said he must be committed to his right fielder.

What does John Mayberry Jr.'s hot bat mean for Delmon Young?

Phillies right fielder Delmon Young. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Phillies right fielder Delmon Young. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

MILWAUKEE — Charlie Manuel rearranged his lineup Thursday so John Mayberry Jr. and Delmon Young could both play. Mayberry was swinging a hot bat. Young was not, but the manager said he must be committed to his right fielder.

How long that dedication will last is unknown.

"Delmon, he didn't have any spring training or stuff like that so that might be why he's a little bit behind right now," Manuel said. "I think he is a good hitter. He's 27 years old, no reason why he can't still hit. I think it's a matter of him getting his timing and get going. He hasn’t got going consistently yet."

That is the excuse the Phillies have used during Young's first month on the roster. He will receive a $100,000 bonus Saturday provided he is still on the team, his 40th active day. Young was hitting .228 with a .286 on-base percentage through Wednesday's games. Both figures would represent career lows. Young did have five homers in 101 at-bats, although he has failed to pull many balls.

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Mayberry carried a .770 OPS into play Thursday. That was 59 points better than Young in a similar sample size. If Mayberry keeps hitting, he could forge more time in center. But he could encroach on Young in right, too.

"We're still looking at Delmon Young," Manuel said, "because I think he's very capable of helping us if we can get him going."

The Phillies can use Young as a designated hitter for three games in Minnesota next week. His shortcomings in the field have rendered the Phillies short on the bench in multiple occasions.


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