The Philadelphia Phillies announced a series of roster moves Monday, the most notable of which was the decision to recall former All-Star outfielder Odúbel Herrera.
Herrera, of course, hasn’t played in a Major League game with the Phillies since his domestic violence arrest in May of 2019, which eventually lead to him being suspended for 85 games.
Now 29, Herrera was invited to mini-camp for the Phillies this past spring, and did homer four times. However, his inability to consistently get on base during spring training and the fact that he wasn’t on the 40-man roster ultimately led to him opening the season at the alternate site, while Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn got the first shot in center field.
So what led to Herrera getting an opportunity now?
“Well I think our biggest concern when we left spring training is that he had not had that many at-bats in the last couple years, and we were concerned about some inconsistencies – just not having a whole lot of playing time,” Girardi said before Monday’s game in St. Louis. “So he went and got 50 or 60 at-bats down there, we feel better about where he’s at and we just felt it was time to give him an opportunity to be our center fielder.”
The Phillies also haven’t exactly received strong production in center field during the first month of the season.
Quinn’s struggles at the plate – he’s hitting .065 – have been well documented, and Haseley “left the team for personal reasons for an undetermined amount of time” on April 14. Joe Girardi said Monday that there isn’t any update on Haseley currently. Because Haseley is now on the restricted list, the Phillies had a vacant 40-man roster spot, meaning they didn’t need to remove anyone from the 40-man to add Herrera.
The Phillies did have to open a 26-man roster spot, which they did by optioning former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak. Moniak, who came up when Haseley left the team, had slashed .120/.214/.240 with one home run and three RBIs in nine games. The 22-year-old will continue to get at-bats at the satellite squad, and most likely be in center field when the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs open their season on May 4.
In addition to those two moves, the Phillies also activated José Alvarado & Matt Moore off the injured list and optioned pitchers Spencer Howard and Bailey Falter. It’s not known if either Alvarado or Moore tested positive for COVID-19 or not, but both were in the protocol.
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