March 21, 2016
LAKELAND, Fla. – Odubel Herrera’s upbeat disposition on Monday morning in Clearwater was in stark contrast to his manager’s demeanor later in the afternoon in Lakeland, following the Phillies 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Pete Mackanin expressed concern over the fact that Herrera, nursing a bruised left middle finger, hadn’t played in a game in nine days with Opening Day two weeks away.
“I kind of thought he would be further along than he is,” Mackanin said. “He says he still feels something there. We’re just being cautious.”
Herrera sounded a bit more upbeat a few hours earlier. When asked on Monday morning when he’d be back in the lineup, Herrera said “two days.” He called it “a small injury.”
“I just decided to stop batting because of the regular season (around the corner),” Herrera said through a translator, “felt it was a good time to take a break.”
Herrera first suffered the injury on March 6, when he slid into home plate in a game against the New York Yankees. He continued to play through it for the next week, and it didn’t seem to hamper his hitting ability: 391 (9-for-23) with three doubles in seven games this spring.
But perhaps he didn’t have a great day of rehabbing the injury as the day continued in Clearwater. Mackanin said he was “anxious” to see how his starting center fielder felt upon return to Bright House Field late Monday afternoon.
And he brought up the possibility of more testing. Herrera had an X-Ray last week (it was negative).
“I’m concerned about it,” Mackanin said. “I don’t want to say that it’s more than it is. He might just be more on the cautious side as well. When he’s ready to go, he’ll be ready to go. I’m anxious to find out where he is when we get back.”