A few weeks ago, manager, Pete Mackanin brought up the possibility of moving Odubel Herrera from center field to a corner outfield spot, over the few remaining weeks in the season.
When asked about the idea earlier this week, Mackanin said, “[n]ot this year. 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.” Furthermore, Mackanin also went on to say, “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.”
Many believe that the main reason this idea was created is simply due to the fact that the Phillies believe that they have a top prospect in centerfielder, Roman Quinn. In addition, there is no denying that Aaron Altherr has proven in the past that he is a very dependable defender in center field as well.
For quite some time now, there have been talks about calling up Quinn to the major leagues, following the conclusion of the Eastern League playoffs. However, that plan now seems highly unlikely, seeing as how Quinn was placed on the disabled list with a concussion.
Either way, the Phillies have made it quite evident that Quinn could very well be the club’s centerfielder in the near future. Following Quinn’s eventual call-up, we should also expect to see Mickey Moniak right behind Quinn. Moniak was this year’s top draft pick, and though he is not currently ready for the call just yet, the Phillies have deemed it worth thinking about, leaving us to wonder about Herrera’s future with the organization. Will we see Herrera transition to a corner outfield spot, or will he serve as trade bait this winter?
When asked if he believed if Herrera’s future would be in a corner outfield position, manager, Pete Mackanin simply stated, “[y]ou know, I’d rather not really even comment on that. 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.”
Furthermore, an additional reason for this conversation is due to Herrera’s defense in center field slipping this season.
In regards to Herrera’s defensive performance with the Phillies, Mackanin stated, “[h]e was better last year defensively. 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.”
In the first half of the season, Herrera hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage, along with a .427 slugging percentage, which then led to him receiving his first All-Star game selection. On the downside, since the All-Star break, Herrera has hit a mere .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage, entering this week.
In the end, there’s no denying that the 2016 season has been an overall positive one for Herrera. Though only time will tell if Herrera is forced to transition to a corner outfield position or if he takes the field with an entirely different team next season.
Photo: Arturo Pardavila III (via: Flickr)