Odubel Herrera was not included in the Phillies’ starting lineup for Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Dodgers. It’s the fourth time this month that manager Pete Mackanin has benched Herrera. As CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reported last week, Mackanin is frustrated with Herrera’s declining plate discipline.
Aaron Altherr got the start in center field on Wednesday and that may be a theme before the end of the season. “I like Altherr in center field,” Mackanin said in Salisbury’s latest column. Mackanin continued, “[There’s] a good chance he’ll be the center fielder and we’ll move Odubel (to a corner outfield spot), but we’re not doing anything right now. The thought crossed my mind to make that switch this year — maybe in September, just to get Odubel familiarized with a corner.”
Herrera was selected by the Phillies from the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft two winters ago. He had played almost exclusively at second base but the Phillies moved him to center field in a move that paid big dividends. During the first half this year, Herrera hit .294/.378/.427 with 10 home runs, 33 RBI, 49 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 378 plate appearances and was the Phillies’ lone representative at the All-Star Game last month.
As the Phillies have a glut of outfield depth with Altherr, prospects Nick Williams and Roman Quinn, as well as Tyler Goeddel, Dylan Cozens, and others, Salisbury suggests the Phillies could try to trade Herrera this winter. It wouldn’t be unlike the Phillies, who traded a young cost-controlled reliever in Ken Giles to the Astros last winter. Of course, center fielders with a skill set like Herrera’s — contact, speed, plate discipline, average-or-better defense — are hard to come by, so the Phillies might prefer to hold onto the 24-year-old and hope he can continue to evolve.
PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.
The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.
The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.
“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”
New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.
“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”
Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.
The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.
New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.
Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.