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Could the Phillies trade All-Star Odubel Herrera?

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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.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”