Phillies' Odubel Herrera to return to centerfield Friday

Phillies' Odubel Herrera to return to centerfield Friday

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Odubel Herrera will play the outfield on Friday for the first time this spring, after being limited in camp with a sore shoulder.

The Phillies used caution with Herrera, knowing that camp was elongated this season, with 31 games over six weeks. The centerfielder has not thrown from the outfield during pregame workouts and played in his first three games as a designated hitter.

Manager Gabe Kapler said during the workouts that he was not concerned and that Herrera was fine. He will return to the field with nearly four weeks remaining until Opening Day.

Starter struggles

Nick Pivetta failed to finish the second inning in Thursday’s 6-4 home loss to the Yankees, marking the third-straight day a Phillies starter left the game before completing his expected two innings of work. Pivetta had a great first inning, and his fastball touched 96 before he ran into trouble in the second. Pivetta said his main concern was that he felt healthy.

Kapler met with Pivetta in the manager’s office for five minutes after the game. The conversation, Kapler said, was “awesome.”

Camera iconYONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta reacts after giving-up a second-inning solo home run to New York Yankees Miguel Andujar (right) during a spring training game at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, FL on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Andujar celebrated his home run with Yankees third base coach Phil Kevin (left).

“There’s an Abraham Lincoln quote in my office [“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”] that he pointed out about preparation and this spring training being part of the preparation,” Kapler said.  “He understands that it’s not going to happen in the first outing or the second outing. It’s going to take a little bit of practice. We expect it to take practice, and that’s what spring training is for. It’s for refining our pitches. It’s for refining our approach, and it’s for building up. The expectation is not for everybody to be perfect the first week of games.”

Abreu in camp

It felt good to wear a Phillies uniform again, Bobby Abreu said as he rejoined the Phillies for a week-long stint as a guest instructor.

Abreu watched batting practice before sitting in the dugout for the game. During his nine seasons with the team, Abreu reached base at a high rate and regularly worked deep counts. Both are traits that the team’s front office values, as shown in their signing of Carlos Santana. Abreu said he’s here to pass on some knowledge.

“I was looking always to be on base, because I think when you get on base, no matter what, you can score,” Abreu said. “You can help the team when you’re always on base. Even a walk, you can start to produce or start a rally that way.”

Extra bases

Zach Eflin, competing for the final rotation spot, allowed two home runs and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings. … Aaron Altherr hit his first homer of spring. … Aaron Nola will start Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte.

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Published at Fri, 02 Mar 2018 01:34:34 +0000

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