Mike Schmidt Says Odubel Herrera Can't Lead Phillies as Non-English Speaker

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2017

Philadelphia Phillies' Odubel Herrera in action during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, May 28, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez/Associated Press

Philadelphia Phillies legend Mike Schmidt has made controversial comments regarding the team's current center fielder, Odubel Herrera

During a Tuesday appearance on 94WIP Radio in Philadelphia (via CBS Philadelphia), Schmidt had this to say about why Herrera can't lead the Phillies:

“My honest answer to that would be no because of a couple of things. First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game. Or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game. Or come over to a guy and say, ‘Man, you gotta run that ball out.’ Just can’t be — because of the language barrier — that kind of a player.”

Schmidt's comments don't take into account Herrera has shown he can speak English when being interviewed. 

Herrera has been an object of criticism among Phillies fans this season. He's currently hitting .243/.283/.403 in 53 games, with Phillies general manager Matt Klentak having to come out recently and clarify the 25-year-old would not be demoted to work out his issues in the minors. 

Prior to this season, Herrera was a player the Phillies appeared to be building their future around. He hit .291/.353/.419 over the previous two seasons and received a five-year extension last December with two option years for 2022 and 2023. 

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