As I’ve said, Odubel Herrera is good for one boneheaded play per game. Usually it’s a mental lapse, like not tagging up, or a hustle mistake diving for a ball that he should’ve let drop or trying to take an extra base. Last night, however, he was benched for his lack of hustle after not running down to first on a chopper back to the mound.
From CSN Philly, which only hit me with one autoplay video here:
“It’s important to me to set that tone,” Mackanin said. “When you don’t hustle, I’ve got a problem.”
“He didn’t run,” Mackanin said. “One of the ingredients to our success to this point is the fact that guys play with energy and they play hard. We’re training them to play the game the right way and not running is not the right way.”
Herrera said he did not run because he was “frustrated” and “angry” with the at-bat. He said Tigers reliever Justin Wilson “got in his head” by varying his delivery times. Herrera even mentioned that Wilson quick-pitched him.
“The pitcher was playing with me,” he said. “I have to learn from it. I didn’t think [Mackanin] was going to bench me, but I understand why. I can’t argue. I was frustrated. I respect the decision. I know that I did wrong. I have to learn from my mistakes and it won’t happen again.”
Great move by Mackanin to nip it in the bud (this wasn’t the first time he benched his young star). Herrera is fantastic, but he’s gonna need someone to reel him in every once in a while. He may be Jose Reyes, but he’s our Jose Reyes.
And I love this subtle dig from Jim Salisbury:
Jonathan Papelbon put a chokehold on Bryce Harper’s neck last year in Washington for a similar transgression.
In the Phillies’ dugout Monday night, Herrera got a little talking-to from Howard.
Credit to Ryan Howard, who is 0-for-647 in May, for somehow finding the gonadotropins to say something to the best hitter on the team.
Jonathan Papelbon tried to kill a guy. Ryan Howard just had a calm conversation.
Side note: Well played by Matt Stairs, who spent the entire at-bat talking about how Odubel was struggling with the slide-step. Sure enough, it got him out and got him benched. Stairs knows his stuff.