As camp opens, Phillies forced to answer questions about Herrera

Odubel Herrera could see some action with the Phillies
J
oe Girardi knows there will be varying opinions on the subject, but for now, he's willing to give Odubel Herrera a chance to demonstrate that he's a changed man as Spring Training opens in Clearwater. 

"This was collectively bargained between the Commissioner and the players,” Girardi said Wednesday afternoon, following the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers. "And he’s afforded a chance to prove to his teammates, to the fans of Philadelphia, the organization, that he is a changed person. The Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for redemption. He’s trying to earn a spot back. He’s also trying to earn the respect of a lot of people back because, obviously, it took a hit when, you know, the domestic violence came out. To me, it’s important that he proves himself to everyone."

Herrera was arrested in May of 2019 in Atlantic City, N.J., on a charge of simple assault of his girlfriend. The charges ultimately were dismissed, but Major League Baseball suspended him 85 games for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. The Phillies removed him from the 40-man roster last January. The Phillies haven't seen Herrera play in nearly two years, and though he'll be in Clearwater, he'll be a part of a minicamp - an alternative to Minor League camp which won't begin this year until April 1 because of the pandemic. 

It's likely, according to Girardi, that Herrera will see some action in Spring Training games, but that'll be true of all players in the minicamp. 

"We have the ability to use all of these guys in camp in a game," Girardi said. 

It's not clear what type of future Herrera has in red pinstripes, but he is a former All-Star and the Phillies have questions entering camp about depth in centerfield. 

Girardi said he spoke to most of the players on the team about Herrera's return and realizes there won't be a unanimous stance on the issue. 

"I really haven’t gotten a sense that everyone is the same,” Girardi said. “Some guys are going to be more forgiving. Some guys are going to be less forgiving. That’s just the world we live in. But we’re playing by the rules."

Quaker Diamond Notes 
The Phillies announced on Wednesday the signing of infielder Brad Miller to a one-year deal. He hit .232 with seven home runs, 25 RBIs, and a .807 OPS in 171 plate appearances last season while with Saint Louis. He was with the Phillies in 2019 and hit .263 with 12 home runs, 21 RBIs, and a .941 OPS in 130 plate appearances. 

To make room for Miller on the 40-man roster the club moved reliever Seranthony Dominguez to the 60-day injured list as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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