The Philadelphia Phillies are putting Odubel Herrera back in their lineup as a center fielder nearly two years after his domestic violence suspension.
The Phillies have decided it’s time to bring Odubel Herrera back after a lengthy absence stemming from his violation of the MLB’s domestic violence policy.
On Monday, the team confirmed they recalled Herrera from their alternate training site.
The plan, according to manager Joe Girardi, is for Herrera to serve as the everyday centerfielder while batting seventh in the lineup.
He was announced in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Cardinals.
Obviously, this move will rattle some. Herrera was charged with simple assault for an alleged domestic violence incident in Atlantic City in 2019. A dispute with his girlfriend ended with the woman showing “visible signs of injury” on her arms and neck. The charge was dropped when the victim opted not to testify against Herrera.
MLB punished Odubel Herrera for alleged domestic violence
MLB suspended Herrera for 85 games beginning on Jun. 24, 2019. That suspension was completed before the 2020 campaign, but the Phillies designated Herrera for assignment and he didn’t play for the team during the COVID-19-impacted season.
Herrera’s future was still unknown in early 2021. He was invited to spring training. However, the team didn’t put him on their roster for the season.
A total of 166 games have gone by since Herrera was suspended — over 200 since he last played. Now he’s set to return.
As part of his suspension, Herrera was expected to undergo evaluation and treatment under the supervision of the league. With his suspension served, the only thing left to do is hope he understands the gravity of his actions and is committed to moving forward as a better human being.
The Phillies are going out on a limb for him to bring him back. He’ll need to prove worthy of that trust.