Odubel Herrera to start season as Phillies centerfielder
It looks like the Philadelphia Phillies won’t just be keeping Rule 5 Draft Pick Odubel Herrera. Manager Ryne Sandberg told the media that Herrera will actually be the teams everyday centerfielder. That move would also bump former starter Ben Revere to left field, a position he’s been playing for the past couple weeks.
“As I look at it right now, (Revere) is the left fielder,” Sandberg said.
“Probably (the centerfielder) to start with,” Sandberg said. (CSN Philly)
There’s multiple reasons for the move and it’s not just Herrera’s solid play this spring. First of all Herrera was a Rule 5 Draft Pick by the Phillies and if he doesn’t spend the entire season on the roster or be offered back to the Texas Rangers. But how does that make him a starter?
First reason is Revere’s poor defensive performances over the past two seasons, with the main knock being his throwing arm. An arm that is very, very weak and a big liability in center. By playing left the Phillies can minimize the importance of that arm. At the moment, I’d say it’s hard to tell how Herrera’s arm will translate to center as he’s only played twice in 559 games but regardless it must be stronger.
The other reason is the poor spring performance from Grady Sizemore who is batting .148 over 27 at-bats. Sizemore wasn’t really an option in center but if he held his own could have manned a corner, pushing Revere back to center. Thanks to that performance though the Phillies will lean on Herrera, who has hit quite well.
Herrera is batting .348 this spring, with 17 hits, 16 of which were singles. That’s an area that should be quite concerning to Phillies fans as he’s pretty much a Revere clone at the plate. Last season, Herrera won the Texas League batting title with 118 hits, 96 of which were singles.
So just like Revere he’s a singles hitter, strictly a singles hitter. He’ll also be another left handed hitter in a lefty heavy lineup.
We’ll see how this plays out for the rebuilding Phillies.