A collective gasp was just heard throughout the Delaware Valley. Why?
Raul Ibanez was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Here is what the Phightin' Phils will be missing out on over the next 15 days:
Ibanez owns a .312 batting average, 22 home runs, 59 RBI, .371 OBP, and finally, Raul is slugging .656.
The Phillies are currently fifth in the NL in batting average (.261). With Raul going on the shelf for 15 days you can almost certainly expect a decrease in their overall average.
Senior Ibanez's replacement is John Mayberry Jr.
Mayberry Jr. has nine big league at-bats in 2009 for the Phillies with two hits—not a very good sample size. But both of his hits are for extra bases—one home run and one double.
Mayberry has been fine-tuning his game in AAA for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (who named these guys?). Here is a look at JMJ's AAA stats:
Mayberry holds a .257 average (47 hits in 183 at-bats), has scored 30 runs, hit 8 HR, 13 doubles, one triple, and 31 RBI. He has amassed 21 bases on balls and 56 strikeouts. JMJ has an OBP of .338 while slugging .470 for an OPS of .808. He has also stolen four bases.
Mayberry is what is often referred to as a physical specimen. Some things you just can't teach, like JMJ's small forward frame—he's 6'6" and weighs 230 pounds. He bats and throws right and is considered to be a future starter in this league by the orginization.
Mayberry was born Dec. 21, 1983 and was selected in the first round of the 2005 draft by the Texas Rangers.
The Phillies acquired him in a trade with the Rangers that essentially just swapped minor league outfielders. The Rangers obtained Greg Golson (speedster) with the Phils getting Mayberry (power), and apparently both ballclubs couldn't be happier with the move.
Mayberry is an exciting semi-young prospect that was destined to be a part of this years September call-up to provide a fresh right-handed bat off the bench.
Ibanez being on the DL will give the Phillies a chance to see what JMJ can do on a daily basis and help set a gauge on where he stands as far as how close is he really to being on the 25-man roster.
Despite the (seemingly constant) rain in Philly, fans will see just what this kid can do to help the team keep pace in the NL East starting today at 1:05 (expect rain delays) against the Blue Jays, who have taken the first two games of this series.
Which makes me think of another question—perhaps for another article: Why can't the Phillies win at home?!
Good luck to John Mayberry Jr. filling in for the injured (groin strain) Raul Ibanez. They are pretty big shoes to fill.