Can Odubel Herrera continue success as leadoff hitter?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a solo home run and flips his bat after in the bottom of the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on September 18, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a solo home run and flips his bat after in the bottom of the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on September 18, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Odubel Herrera (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Odubel Herrera (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Will Odubel Herrera continue his success as Phillies leadoff hitter?

In Herrera’s four games as the leadoff hitter this season, he is batting 7-for-20 with two home runs, three RBI, four runs scored, and just two strikeouts. In all fairness, both home runs and all three RBI came on Tuesday in the 17-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Herrera still produced, however, in the 11-1 loss on Monday, going 3-5 as the leadoff hitter.

McCutchen has also benefited from the switch thus far. In his three games as the six-hole hitter, he is 4-for-10 with two home runs, four RBI, three walks, and just one strikeout. Once again, to be fair, both home runs, all four RBI, and two of his walks came in that 17-3 victory. The day before, he was 1-for-3 with a walk. McCutchen might be best suited for this role at this point in his career.

While the initial results have been encouraging, it’s far too early to call this switch a success. No one can determine whether it will continue to work long-term just yet. The Phillies will need a bigger sample size. Odubel has certainly done well in both the one- and two-holes this year and even had an impressive day as the cleanup hitter not long ago.

Before Herrera was suspended in 2019, it looked like he might be best suited to be the sixth hitter in the order himself. While he struggled that season, he was hitting .280 with eight doubles, 12 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 22 games at that spot. With the new additions to the team, it seemed like Herrera was primed to take on more of a secondary role after being at the top of the lineup during the rebuild years.

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