BOSTON — In a span of three innings Monday night, Odubel Herrera made a baserunning mistake and had a defensive misadventure in center field. On Tuesday, he wasn't in the Phillies' lineup.
Cause and effect?
"We planned Odubel's off-day a week ago because we wanted to give him back-to-back off-days," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "It's going to be a long stretch. We're going to be leaning on him every single day all the way through September and October. It's important to get our guys a blow when we can."
Kapler met with Herrera after Monday night's 13-inning, 2-1 loss to Boston to discuss the gaffe on the bases. With Rhys Hoskins in a rundown between third base and home plate, Herrera tried to sneak into third. It was the right idea, but Herrera didn't slide into third, enabling the Red Sox to tag him out and then double up Hoskins.
"I feel that I should've slid into third, make it a harder play for the third baseman or whoever tagged me," Herrera said through a team translator. "I should have done better."
Kapler said Herrera "did a really good job of owning what happened," adding that he's "really proud of him."
In addition, Kapler claimed that Herrera's day off wasn't any different from rightfielder Nick Williams getting a breather Monday night against Boston Red Sox lefthander David Price. With another lefty (Drew Pomeranz) on the mound Tuesday night, Kapler said it was a logical time to give lefty-swinging Herrera a break.
After the Phillies finalized a trade for two-time all-star catcher Wilson Ramos, Kapler met with both Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp to discuss how their playing time might eventually be affected by the move.
For now, nothing will change. Ramos is on the disabled list with a left hamstring injury and won't likely return until mid- to late-August or possibly even Sept. 1, at which point rosters will expand and the Phillies will carry three catchers. Once Ramos is healthy, though, he figures to bring his .834 OPS to the lineup on a regular basis.
"You don't just act like we didn't just add a piece because we did, however there's plenty of opportunity for those guys," Kapler said. "In many ways, Alfaro and Knappy both have the capability to earn substantial amounts of playing time. Both of those guys are going to play a lot."