Odubel Herrera Called Up by Phillies for 1st Time Since Domestic Violence Arrest

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

Philadelphia Phillies' Odubel Herrera rounds third after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Steven Brault during the third inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game in Bradenton, Fla., Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Phillies have called up outfielder Odubel Herrera to the big league club for the first time since 2019 when he was arrested and charged with domestic violence, though the charges were later dropped. 

Philadelphia Phillies @Phillies

The Phillies have made the following roster moves: https://t.co/xbfnoeUIqP

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

Joe Girardi on Odubel Herrera returning tonight for first time in almost 2 years “He’s probably going to be held to a higher standard. Not with his production, but his on and off the field actions. Because he is going to be under more scrutiny and I think he understands that” https://t.co/PpMwcNL4bM

The Phillies did not outright release Herrera, though he was suspended for the remainder of the 2019 season after his May 2019 arrest and did not play for the team last season. 

Herrera is likely getting a look because the Phillies have gotten abysmal production at the plate from their center-fielders this season:

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

Phillies CFs are batting .101 👎🏼 The only team that has had a lower batting average from their CFs thru first 21 games is 2001 Cubs (Since 1974 as far back as Sports Radar can check) https://t.co/WEsVeNJKCf

Herrera, 29, hit .255 with 22 homers, 71 RBI and 64 runs in his last full season in 2018, a career year for the veteran outfielder. If he offers that level of production, the Phillies woes in center field will be over. If he doesn't, it likely will be a need the team needs to address before the trade deadline this year. 

The other aspect of bringing him back into the fold, however, is how both fans and his own teammates will react to him given his arrest. 

"I know he has done a lot himself as far as addressing the situation that took place in counseling, but it’s something that we still have to continue to talk through from an internal perspective," Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in January, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports.

The police report in 2019 said that Herrera's girlfriend "had visible signs of injury to her arms and neck that was sustained after being assaulted by her boyfriend, David Odubel Herrera, during a dispute."

Herrera publicly apologized for his actions in Feb. 2020.

"I wanted to talk to you guys today because I wanted to say I'm sorry to the fans and the organization," he told reporters at the time. "I'm very regretful for what I did. It’s been a lesson learned for me and I want to turn the page and keep going with life."