Herrera pulled after pair of mental blunders; Phillies fall to Astros

Odubel Herrera booed and yanked as Philadelphia falls to Houston
Odubel Herrera has the physical tools to excel as one of the better outfielders in baseball, but the mental miscues and ill-timed showboating are wearing thin, especially on a team staring down a 100-loss season.

It was clearly evident after the sixth inning of Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the Astros at Citizens Bank Park as Phillies manager Pete Mackanin benched Herrera for the final three innings; this after he failed to run to first on a dropped third strike.

“Eh, it had something to do with it,” Mackanin said. “I’m going to talk with (Herrera) tomorrow.”

Failing to run on a dropped third strike wasn't Herrera's only blunder on the night. As he's known to do, he emphatically flipped his bat after drilling a Charlie Morton pitch to deep center in the first inning, the only problem being Derek Fisher made an outstanding running catch while colliding with the outfield wall. The Astros dugout mocked Herrera for the flip and in a later at-bat Morton threw a fastball up-and-in presumably to send a message.

Herrera was not in the Phillies clubhouse when it opened to the media following the contest. He knows this isn't the first time his antics have come under scrutiny.

“Odubel does a lot for us,” Mackanin said. “He’s just a different character and we have to deal with him in a certain way. I’ll have a nice talk with him tomorrow and he’s going to be fine. He’s been doing very well in that regard in the last month or so. But he just needs a reminder.”

Despite the roughness around the edges, Herrera is arguably the club's most productive hitter and is one of the highest ranked defensive outfielders in baseball. He entered play on Tuesday hitting .337 with a .380 OBP, 20 doubles and six home runs since June 1. Even so, his antics are frustrating to more than just fans and the coaching staff.

“It’s a team thing and one guy can’t just not follow the rules," said catcher Cameron Rupp. "It’s not the first time. It has happened before and that’s something we don’t want to see. We want him in the game. He’s a good player. It’s hard for us. He’s a grown man. He has to learn on his own. We can only say so much.”
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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