A couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a chance he could look at Odubel Herrera in a corner outfield spot over the final weeks of the season.
Scrub that idea.
“Not this year,” Mackanin said Monday. “If we decide we're going to do that, we'll encourage him to play a corner in winter ball and then in spring training, if that's what we decide to do.
“I thought about doing that. But I don't know if we want to do that now. We’ll just let him get back on track offensively. I won't say it won't happen here or there. But we're not going to make that move right now.
“Let's try to keep his mind as uncluttered as possible right now. It looks a little cluttered.”
The Phillies have thought about moving Herrera to a corner spot because they have a top center field prospect in Roman Quinn. Also, Aaron Altherr is an excellent defender in center.
Quinn seemed to be on target for a call up after the Eastern League playoffs, but that could be in doubt now that he’s on the disabled list with a concussion.
Still, Quinn may be this club’s centerfielder of the future. And behind him is Mickey Moniak, this year’s top draft pick. He’s a ways away. But it’s worth wondering if the Phillies believe Herrera’s future is at a corner outfield spot. Or whether Herrera will be wintertime trade bait.
Mackanin was asked if he believed Herrera’s future would be in a corner spot.
“You know, I'd rather not really even comment on that,” he said. “I don't want him to think that we're not pleased with him. I just want to keep him confident the rest of the season.”
Herrera’s defense in center field has slipped this season.
“He was better last year defensively,” Mackanin said. “He's made a lot of mistakes this year. I think we've all seen that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to play center field anymore. There's another month left to see what happens.”
Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game. He hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage before the All-Star break. Since then, however, he was hitting .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage entering play Monday night.