Phillies: Pete Mackanin benches Odubel Herrera for two games
By John Town
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin has elected to bench center fielder Odubel Herrera for two games as his struggles continue this season.
Manager Pete Mackanin has benched one of his starters yet again as Odubel Herrera is out of the Phillies lineup Monday against the Marlins. Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reported that Herrera will sit for both Monday and Tuesday’s games.
Salisbury said that Herrera “is looking to clear his mind” while on the bench. Since May 13, Herrera has a .127 batting average and .286 OPS. He has struck out in 16 of his 63 plate appearances in that span.
As a whole, Herrera is worth -0.5 oWAR this season, which is the worst on the team, with a .217/.264/.328 line in 48 games.
Mackanin told reporters after Sunday’s loss that Herrera needs to work himself out of this slump: [quote via Steven Tydings of CSN Philly]
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"“He’s scuffling. A couple guys scuffling,” Mackanin said. “I’ll probably move him down in the lineup. I can’t keep him in the two-hole. But he has to fight his way out."
Mackanin’s other notable benching this season was sitting Maikel Franco for two games against the Rockies. The struggling third baseman has a .628 OPS this season. Franco is just 2-for-15 since the benching.
Hopefully, Herrera will be better than Franco after he comes back Wednesday.
Herrera’s benching allows Mackanin to keep both the returning Howie Kendrick and surging Aaron Altherr in the lineup for the time being. Kendrick will play his first game since April 15 after missing more than a month with an oblique strain. He was batting .333 in ten games before the injury.
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Meanwhile, Altherr will fill in for Herrera in center field. He has the best OPS on the team (.970) and is tied for the most home runs (eight). His win probability added of 1.6 is the fourth-best in the National League behind future Phillie Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, and Anthony Rizzo.