With Scott Kingery and Roman Quinn failing to take the Phillies’ starting center field job so far this spring, Odúbel Herrera remains very much in the mix for the spot — and he is having himself a strong day down in Bradenton.

In the first inning, he opened the game with a perfectly executed bunt single:

He followed that base-hit up with this solo homer to lead off the third inning:

How about that bat flip?

Some will love it. Some will hate it. I think it’s fine, but I also don’t currently possess the capacity to explain why it’s not a big deal, so here is Pirates third base coach Joey Cora on the topic:


Herrera struck out in his third at-bat, but his big day coincides with another quiet outing from Kingery, who is 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

Kingery is currently hitting just .136 with a .526 OPS this spring. He has struck out in 10 of his 24 plate appearances.

Will Herrera be the team’s Opening Day starter in center? There are both 40-man roster complications and likely public relations backlash for the team to consider, but he appears to be the favorite at this point.

If you are looking for a take on Herrera possibly stepping into the batter’s box at Citizens Bank Park on Opening Day, I wrote this about two weeks ago:

Some people will be appalled. They will boo both him and the organization for allowing the moment to happen like they never have before, while some forgiving fans will approach a possible redemption story with optimism – and each and every one of those fans will be entitled to feel exactly how they feel.