Odubel Herrera fails to make Opening Day Roster
Spring Training is finally over and the Philadelphia Phillies have made their final, and biggest roster decision before heading north for Opening Day against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, April 1st.
Odubel Herrera did not make the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Instead, the Phillies are going with Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley in centerfield. The decision to keep Quinn and Haseley rather than Herrera screams “platoon” for the Phillies. Quinn is a switch-hitter and Haseley bats left-handed. The Phillies will open up the season against Braves left handed pitcher Max Fried, which could set up Roman Quinn to earn the starting job, though no official announcement has been made yet.
Herrera, who as we all know was serving an 85-game suspension without appeal from the MLB for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy, was removed from the Phillies 40-man roster after the season but remained in the organization because he was still under contract. Herrera signed a five-year $30.5 million contract with the Phillies before the 2017 season. Thanks to the MLBPA, players who violate the domestic abuse policy can only be released for baseball reasons and not for the violation, which is why Herrera is still with the Phillies organization.
Herrera was red hot to start Spring Training, but definitely cooled off in the closing weeks. He finished camp batting .231 (12-for-52) with a double, four home runs, a walk, and 11 strikeouts. His OBP was just .245.
Whether you want to call it a performance or public relations issue, Herrera didn’t do enough to make the Phillies Opening Day roster. I wouldn’t expect anything to be set in stone for the Phillies in centerfield anytime soon. Even with Quinn and Haseley getting the nod for Opening Day, the Phillies still have Herrera, Scott Kingery, and even Mickey Moniak waiting in the minor-leagues and trying to earn a call-up sometime this season.
For now, the Phillies are turning to Quinn and Haseley. Quinn had a quiet but efficient Spring Training, hitting .270 (10-for-37) with a .341 OBP. Haseley, who only had 19 at-bats this Spring, slashed .316/.381/.907 with a double, home run, and five RBI.
We are two days away from Opening Day and roster decisions have been made. Only time will tell how the centerfield position holds up throughout the 2021 season.