May 28, 2023

What to watch as Odubel Herrera returns in series opener vs. Cardinals


Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

The 10-11 Philadelphia Phillies have made a questionable move ahead of their series opener with the 11-10 St. Louis Cardinals.

Here’s what to watch:

Phillies call up Odubel Herrera, along with other changes

The Phillies made a few moves Monday afternoon, but one really stood out: Odubel Herrera was called up from the alternate site. He will start in center field and bat seventh Monday night.

Herrera becomes the fourth player to start at the center field position for the Phillies this season. The Phils have gotten awful production from the previous three: Roman Quinn, Adam Haseley, and Mickey Moniak.

Haseley left the team for personal reasons two weeks ago. Moniak was sent to the alternate site on Monday as the Phils cleared room on the active roster for Herrera.

The Phillies have also gotten poor production from leadoff man Andrew McCutchen. He was not in Monday night’s starting lineup. Brad Miller is set to bat leadoff and play left field. Herrera could eventually become an option at leadoff.

Herrera has not played in the majors in 23 months. He served an 85-game suspension in 2019 for violating Major League Baseball’s policy against domestic violence.

“We just felt it was time,” manager Joe Girardi said of the decision to bring Herrera to the majors. Girardi went on to say that Herrera’s at-bats at the alternate site had been good.

There had been a question of whether Herrera would be welcomed back into the clubhouse. Girardi said he’s continually spoken to players about the matter to see if there would be any objections.

“If it was a big issue, it would have been brought to my attention,” the manager said. “That has not been the case.”

It remains to be seen how Herrera will be accepted by the fans. The answer will come when the Phillies return home Friday night.

In other pregame news Monday:

  • The Phillies sent pitchers Spencer Howard and Bailey Falter to the alternate site. Howard will be stretched out as a starter. The Phils have had performance issues at the back end of the rotation. Howard could offer a potential solution at some point, though the team remains cognizant of his innings/workload.
  • Reliever Jose Alvarado was activated from COVID protocol and will be available in the bullpen Monday night. Starting pitcher Matt Moore was also activated from the COVID list. He will not jump right back into the rotation Wednesday night. Vince Velasquez will get that start while the team gauges Moore’s readiness.

Wheeler gets the start

Phillies starter Zack Wheeler blamed himself for last Tuesday’s loss to the San Fransisco Giants because he couldn’t shut the door after being given an early lead.

The last few starts have been troublesome for Wheeler, who’s been very good for the Phils the last two seasons. This season he’s 1-2 with a 3.80 ERA and 26 strikeouts.


Phillies’ lineup vs. Adam Wainwright:

Cardinals lineups vs. Wheeler:

  1. Tommy Edman 2B
  2. Dylan Carlson CF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt 1B
  4. Nolan Arenado 3B
  5. Yadier Molina C
  6. Paul DeJong SS
  7. Tyler O’Neill LF
  8. Justin Williams RF
  9. Adam Wainwright P


When: 7:45 P.M. E.S.T.

Where: Busch Stadium

Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia +

Radio: 94.1 WIP

Social media coverage: Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter & Instagram.

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