Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Saturday afternoon that there’s a “good chance” that both outfielders Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. will be on the team’s Opening Day roster.
Francisco (.373) and Mayberry (.295) have hit well this spring while competing for the Phillies’ open job in right field.
“Mayberry’s had a good spring, a real good spring,” Manuel said after a Phillies split-squad lost to Detroit, 3-1. “Right now, I’d say the way things are developing, we definitely want to look at Francisco and Mayberry both. They’re both in the same place. We want to see them play. We want to find out how good they can play. I trust both of them, really.”
A few more updates, near the end of a busy Phillies camp:
• Manuel offered plenty of praise for utility man Michael Martinez, a Rule 5 pick from the Washington Nationals. “The more I watch Martinez, he’s good,” Manuel said. “The more I watch him play, he’s had a hell of a good camp. He can do a lot of things. He’s an exciting player. He can play all the outfield positions.”
• Manuel said he’s “not yet” close to naming an Opening Day second baseman. Chase Utley is expected to begin the season on the disabled list because of his lingering right knee issues. Utility man Wilson Valdez, hitting .345 in the Grapefruit League, has been considered the favorite to replace Utley.
“(Luis) Castillo definitely has to keep playing in some of these games,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, I’d like to have my second baseman play a game or two before the season starts. That’s kind of how I look at it.”
• Pitcher Ryan Feierabend was sent to the minors on March 11, but Manuel was impressed by his performance against the Tigers (five innings, one earned run). “That was the best we’ve seen him,” Manuel said. Feierabend is likely to start at Class AAA.
• Third baseman Placido Polanco (left elbow) is expected to play Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. The team isn’t certain yet whether Polanco will be completely healthy by Opening Day.
— Jon Paul Morosi