Odubel Herrera has stolen the spotlight in Clearwater, Florida
Odubel Herrera has stolen the spotlight in Clearwater, Florida as Phillies’ Spring Training and Grapefruit League play is underway. Herrera hasn’t played competitive baseball in nearly 21 months but has been one of the top players in Spring Training for the Phillies this year.
Herrera made his third start of the week today. It was his first start in centerfield, which is the position he is trying to win back after the MLB suspended him for 85 games following a May 2019 domestic violence charge. The 29-year old outfielder has hit in all three starts this Spring and has made impressive plays in the outfield. So far this Spring Herrera is 4-for-9 (.444) with a home run, an RBI, and a stolen base.
Herrera was an All-Star in 2016 and currently has one year left on the five-year $30.5 million dollar contract with the Phillies. He is set to earn more than $10 million dollars in payroll in 2021. His performance shouldn’t surprise anyone. Herrera has slashed .276/.333/.423/.756 with 60 home runs and 233 RBI in just over four years in the majors with the Phillies.
With Adam Haseley dropping out of the centerfield competition due to a groin injury that will keep him on the injured last past Opening Day, that moves Herrera up on the roster list, competing with Scott Kingery and Roman Quinn for the centerfield position. Roman Quinn is 2-for-7 with a double and Scott Kingery is 2-for-11 with a home run in limited appearances this Spring.
All things considered, Odubel Herrera could easily win the starting centerfield spot. The question remains if the Phillies want to deal with a stick public relations issue throughout the season by having Herrera on the roster. To be clear, Herrera can only be cut for baseball reasons and his contract can’t be voided per the join policy on domestic violence between the MLB and MLBPA.
It’s safe to say from a baseball perspective, Herrera is currently leading the race in the centerfield competition.
Zach Wheeler will start against the Yankees in Tampa on Sunday. The game will be televised and should include some top Phillies’ players. Bryce Harper, Didi Gregorius, Andrew McCutchen, and Jean Segura are all making the trip.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer