Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak had media availability prior to the Phillies opening a series with the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday evening. Though Klentak was very limited in what he was able to say on the matter, the fifth-year general manager made clear that he wanted to be as transparent as he could be on center fielder Odubel Herrera’s arrest for “simple assault” of his girlfriend Monday evening.
Klentak did note that with the help of Phillies translator Diego Ettedgui, he and manager Gabe Kapler spoke with Herrera after learning of his arrest Tuesday morning. Klentak noted that Herrera apologized, though without being privy to the exact context of the discussion, it’s difficult to say with complete certainty what the 27-year-old was apologizing for – the incident itself, the distraction it has caused the Phillies or all of the above.
MLB, along with the player’s union, will now investigate the incident, after placing Herrera on administrative leave upon being informed of the arrest by the Phillies. This, by design, takes the Phillies largely out of the investigation – and any subsequent suspension, if that were the direction the investigation led to – and hands it over to a neutral party.
One specific Klentak was able to give is that after learning of the incident, the Phillies worked to have Herrera, an All-Star in 2016, removed from this year’s All-Star Game ballot. Balloting for the midsummer classic began Tuesday. Instead of Herrera being on the ballot, Scott Kingery, who has started just four games in the outfield in 2019, has replaced Herrera on the ballot. Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, of course, are the two other outfield options from the Phillies.
Herrera almost certainly wasn’t going to get elected to the All-Star Game if he had remained on the ballot. He’s slashing just .222/.288/.341 with a -0.2 fWAR in 39 games in 2019. Though some interpreted this as being a sign of the Phillies future plans with Herrera, the feeling here is that it’s as simple as the Phillies controlling the one thing they were able to control. Had Herrera not been removed from the All-Star Game ballot, there almost certainly would have been a viral tweet asking why he was still an option to vote for after being arrested for a domestic violence incident. By removing him from the All-Star Game ballot, that situation was avoided.
Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia obtained a copy of the police report, which features the title “The State Of New Jersey Vs. David Odubel Herrera.” In it, it notes that the victim, Herrera’s 20-year-old girlfriend, “had visible signs of injury to her arms and neck that was sustained after being assaulted by her boyfriend, David Odubel Herrera, during a dispute.”
Herrera, who the Phillies acquired in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, signed a five-year/$30.5 million deal – that also featured two additional club options – with the Phillies ahead of the 2017 season.
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