A year removed from an All-Star campaign, the Philadelphia Phillies are getting more and more frustrated with outfielder Odubel Herrera in 2017, according to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury.
Last night, Herrera was pulled during a double switch after failing to run out a dropped third strike in the sixth inning, which prompted a swarm of boos from the fans. This wasn’t even his first blunder of the game. In the first inning, Herrera hit a ball deep into center field. Assuming he had the hit, he jogged out to first base only for Derek Fisher to make a surprising catch.
Pete Mackanin double switched Odubel Herrera out of game
Pete says he will have a talk with Odubel tomorrow pic.twitter.com/auG0I91rQF
— John Clark CSN/NBC (@JClarkCSN) July 26, 2017
This season has been marred by boneheaded plays, insubordination and a general apathetic attitude for Herrera, and played a role in his slow start to the season. His bat has improved, and he owns a team-best .331 batting average since June 1, but he is still plagued by bad mistakes. Last month, he ignored Juan Samuel’s command to stop at third base in a game against the Cardinals. He actually ran around Samuel and was nowhere near home plate when he was tagged out. He was fined earlier this year for attempting to steal a base despite given explicit instructions not to.
Manager Peter Mackanin isn’t the only person who has noticed these antics either. Catcher Cameron Rupp discussed it in his post game interview and mentioned that shortstop Freddy Galvis has tried talking to Herrera. Both Galvis and Herrera are from Venezuela.
The Phillies are a bad team and Herrera’s attitude is concerning. Last winter, the Phillies rewarded the former Rule 5 draft pick with a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension, a sign that he was a franchise player they hoped to build around. Herrera should be a leader on this team, instead he is a distraction. Having a carefree attitude isn’t necessarily a bad trait, it worked for Manny Ramirez, but if you don’t have a strong clubhouse, that attitude can be toxic.
Perhaps a change of scenery is needed for Herrera. He is only 25 and is under team control until 2022 under a very affordable salary for someone who made the All-Star team in 2016. The Phillies can bring in a pretty good haul for him while he could benefit by a better locker room that makes him more accountable.
There are contending teams in need of center field help too. The Cubs, Nationals, Twins and Brewers are all contending teams who could use a boost at the position and other teams could benefit from having Herrera operate from one of the corners. Of course, they would have to surrender a pretty significant prospect for Herrera.
Herrera’s nickname is “El Torito,” which means little bull and right now he is performing like a little bull in a China shop. No matter where he winds up, he needs to stop being so reckless or he will never get out of the doghouse.
UPDATE: Herrera is out of the lineup today for Philadelphia. Aaron Altherr is starting in center field.