Pressure mounting on Herrera to put miscues behind

Philadelphia outfielder Odubel Herrera
Odubel Herrera sat at his locker in the Phillies' clubhouse last week following a loss to the Diamondbacks and held his hands over his face. He knows he needs to improve his decision making, but maturity rarely comes easily.

“He’s a very unique individual,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin told the 94WIP Morning Show, speaking of Herrera. “Everybody is different and you have to try to appeal to them somehow. I’m an old school kind of guy, but it doesn’t work now of days all of the time. With some guys you can in their face and challenge them, other guys you can’t because they just don’t respond.

“Herrera is tough to deal with because he’s just a different kind of guy and I appeal in different ways to him.”

Herrera admitted prior to last night's contest in Seattle he was fined for attempting to steal a base over the weekend despite being given a red light. This after earlier in the week rumbling by Juan Samuel's clear stop sign at third base, resulting in being thrown out at the plate by more than 10 feet.

"It's aggressiveness, I play the game hard and want to do a lot," Herrera said last week. "I have to be smarter out there and make better decisions."

The Phillies signed Herrera to a five-year, $30.5 million contract in the offseason. The move signified the 25-year-old as a vital piece to the rebuild process; an emerging talent with the potential to be a mainstay in the Phillies' lineup.

Problem is, Herrera is prone to mental mistakes that border on insubordination. From not running on dropped third strikes to ignoring signals, it's now a reoccurring theme.

The output on the field isn't nearly as good this year compared to last year either, his average down 30 points with an OPS+ of 82.

When asked about a possible change in his approach since signing the deal Herrera seemed defensive.

"I'm not like that, that's not me," he said.

The proof, however, is on the diamond.

Half a season remains for Herrera to show he can put the mental miscues behind, otherwise his promising future may be a fraction of what once looked possible.
___________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: