Anyone else worried that John Mayberry Jr. will be exploited once again by playing way more games in 2014 than he should?
When the Phillies signed Marlon Byrd two weeks ago, Ruben Amaro slipped in to CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury that Mayberry would likely be tendered a contract by the Dec. 2 arbitration deadline.
"We haven't made any decision," Amaro said. "But I view Mayberry as being tendered a contract."
Perhaps the soon-to-be 30-year-old and former Rangers prospect bust is finally due for a breakout season next year.
I mean, after Byrd hit .303 as a Phillies rookie in 2003, he didn't sniff a decent batting average again until 2007 with the Rangers (.303) in his age 29 season and became an All-Star at age 32 with the Cubs in 2010.
But I'm not holding my breath.
I wrote shortly after the season ended that Mayberry definitely needs to go. In three full seasons as a big-leaguer, he's only regressed at the plate:
2011: 104 games, .273/.341/.513, 15 HR
2012: 149 games, .245/.301/.395, 14 HR
2013: 134 games, .227/.286/.391, 11 HR
Not to fret, you say, because Mayberry has been over-exposed. When he's used situationally against left-handed pitching, then he'll put up better numbers.
Unfortunately, that's not quite true. His recent platoon splits:
2011: .306/.358/.595 vs. LHP; .250/.330/.455 vs. RHP
2012: .271/.317/.494 vs. LHP; .229/.291/.335 vs. RHP
2013: .240/.296/.460 vs. LHP; .221/.283/.364 vs. RHP
So basically, the 2011 version of Mayberry was just as good (perhaps a little better) against righties as the 2013 version was against lefties.
Ah, but the key with Mayberry is he can play center field and serve as a viable late-game substitution for the swift-footed but candy-armed Revere in center. Who else do the Phillies have to play center?
2011: Defensive WAR of -0.5
2012: Defensive WAR of -0.1
2013: Defensive WAR of -2.1
And since 2011, Mayberry has compiled 11 assists to five errors in 2,114 outfield innings; Revere has accumulated 17 assists to nine errors in 2,695 innings.
So what's this subpar bat, less-than-stellar platoon player and below-average glove going to cost the Phillies in 2014? Likely somewhere in the $1.5 to $2 million range.
At least the Phillies got the better end of the Greg Golson swap with Texas, right? On second thought, the Rangers have long since cut ties with Golson...