Odubel Herrera wasn’t happy that he flied out to end the fourth inning of Sunday’s series finale at Turner Field against the Braves. The outfielder aggressively tossed his bat behind him towards the Phillies’ on-deck circle. It was that action, not his second out of the afternoon, which caused interim manager Pete Mackanin to bench Herrera. The next inning, Aaron Altherr moved from left field to center, and Brian Bogusevic entered the game in left field.
Herrera has been the Phillies’ most valuable position player this year, a shocking development as he was the club’s Rule-5 pick from the Rangers and hadn’t played above Double-A prior to the season. The 23-year-old is batting .293/.335/.417 with eight home runs, 40 RBI, 59 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases while playing above-average defense in center field.
Regardless, Mackanin isn’t tolerating what he termed “pouting”. Via Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News:
“We will not pout, we will not feel sorry for ourselves. If you want to, then you don’t belong here. He had to learn a lesson. To me, he’s been pouting for a few days, so I just wanted to make sure he gets the message.”
Mackanin took over managing duties for the Phillies when Ryne Sandberg quit after 74 games. The rebuilding Phillies are undergoing both roster and front office overhaul, and it’s not clear yet if Mackanin will return to lead the team in 2016. He’s certainly managing as if he will be at the helm next year.