When Charlie Manuel talks about the progress that John Mayberry Jr. is making, he often mentions a late developing right-handed hitter who eventually cashed in for big money at a corner outfield spot.
"I look at John right now and he's kind of like in a Jayson Werth situation," Manuel said.
So if Mayberry is becoming the new Jayson Werth, is Raul Ibanez about to become the next Geoff Jenkins?
It's a good problem for Manuel to have. After all, Mayberry has been red hot since returning from a stint at Class AAA Lehigh Valley in July.
Mayberry, in center field because of Shane Victorino's suspension, connected on another homer -- a two-run shot for his 10th of the season -- in Philadelphia's 4-1 rain-delayed win over Arizona Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. It was Mayberry's 18th extra base hits out of 27 overall. He has hit safely in 27 of his 39 starts.
"He's definitely gotten stronger and he's staying on the ball well," Manuel said.
The strange part is that Ibanez has done his share, driving in 31 runs in his last 34 games. After struggling through most of the five-game homestand, Ibanez broke out with a 2-for-4 outing that included two doubles and an RBI on Thursday night.
Manuel seemed to go out of his way to say that the situation between Mayberry and Ibanez was not a platoon.
"I look at the matchups and if John is strong against (the left-hander that's going), then he stands a real good chance to be in there," Manuel said. "But Ibanez has some big hits against left-handers, too. We'll look to get Mayberry more playing time. He's moved up since the start of the season."
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.