I know, it drives you crazy.
Watching Odubel Herrera run into a huge out during Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the Mets was enough to drive any Phillies fan up a tree. And if it were an isolated incident, that would be one thing. But we have seen multiple instances this season in which Herrera has seemingly lost focus, displayed a glaring lack of baseball IQ, or simply been overaggressive to the point it has cost the team outs and runs.
But here’s the thing. Herrera is an amazing baseball player with talent oozing from his pores, and you don’t give up on players like that. His fWAR of 2.8 is 10th-best among NL outfielders. Since June 3 he is hitting .342/.388/.578 with 9 HRs and 23 doubles. And since the All-Star break, no one in baseball has more fWAR (2.1) than Odubel Herrera.
But these brain farts of his are a problem. The latest incident occurred in the fifth inning with the Phillies trailing 4-1. They had the bases loaded with Freddy Galvis on third, Herrera on second and Rhys Hoskins on first, when Nick Williams lifted a fly ball to medium center field. Third base coach Juan Samuel probably should have sent Galvis to tag up, but didn’t. Herrera went to tag but stopped when he saw that Galvis had not tagged.
That’s when things got weird. As the center fielder’s throw went to the catcher, the ball got away from Travis d’Arnaud, Herrera thought Galvis would break for home and try to score, so he put his head down and ran to third.
One problem. Galvis was still on third. As Herrera pulled into the base already occupied by Galvis, he pulled up, stood on the bag, and waited to be tagged out.
Here’s how the scene looked on replay, and it’s harder to comprehend than I’m describing it.
Odubel doesn't tag right away. He saw Galvis didn't go. He doesn't start to 3rd until the ball gets to the catcher. https://t.co/c0GMruyx1u— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) August 13, 2017
As bad as the play was, Herrera’s decision not to get in a rundown compounded the issue. In that situation, you try and make the fielder tag you out and, in the process, perhaps you allow Galvis to score, or you force the fielder to make an errant toss. But the humiliation and frustration of the moment resulted in Herrera just standing there.
Nevertheless, none of this means Herrera should be shipped out of town, or that he can’t be a winning ballplayer. On Episode 142 of The Felske Files, hosts John Stolnis and Justin Klugh discuss the latest Herrera gaffe and what it means for his future with the Phillies.
Here’s a hint. He shouldn’t be going anywhere.
Also discussed on Episode 142...
- Rhys Hoskins finally got his first hit on Sunday... our first impressions of the lad four games into his MLB career.
- Hitting the west coast for a six-game road trip is probably the best thing for him.
- Nick Williams continues to rake since his call-up.
- Interesting to see the difference in how both players started, how both were used in the lineup upon first being called up, and the results.
- Aaron Nola has become one of the four or five best pitchers in the National League this season. Period.
- Vince Velasquez’ frustrating 2017 took another turn with a DL stint. Is it time for the bullpen?
- Maikel Franco continues to struggle in a huge way. Are there alternatives for third base next season if the Phils cut bait?
- Could Freddy Galvis be moved to third? What about Cesar Hernandez? Maybe even J.P. Crawford?
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