Odubel Herrera sits out with sore back
Odubel Herrera was not in the lineup Wednesday only because his back hurt. The 24-year-old centerfielder may have injured it when he slammed into the wall Monday night.
The Phillies played without Odubel Herrera for the first time this season, and the lineup's catalyst looked bored. In the middle of a 4-2 win over Miami, he grabbed stray baseballs in the dugout Wednesday afternoon and flipped them into the crowd. He laughed.
Herrera had played in 356 of the team's 357 innings before Wednesday. He would have played again in Game 41 had it not been for a sore back he injured Monday night with a crash into the wall.
It looked to affect Herrera on Tuesday, when he took some of his worst swings of the season. Herrera went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts; it marked just the third time in 40 games that Herrera did not reach base.
So Phillies manager Pete Mackanin benched his best hitter. And his team still won.
Mackanin envisioned playing Herrera in all 162 games. The Phillies' margin is so slim, and that is why Herrera started every single one of the team's first 40 games.
A little rest will help, too.
"I figured if I give him today and tomorrow off, that's good," Mackanin said Wednesday morning. "He's going to be in there as much as he possibly can."
The Phillies are still committed to a platoon at first base, which meant Ryan Howard started Wednesday. He went 0 for 4 and is now 2 for his last 27.
Howard is down to a .634 OPS. He is hitting .168.
"You can't come out of it if you're sitting on the bench," Mackanin said. "We'll continue to run them out there and hope that it'd click one day."
The Phillies are 14-10 against teams over .500. … With both the Phillies and Sixers holding the No. 1 pick in their respective drafts, it is the first time in Philadelphia history that two of the city's major sports teams own the first pick in the same year. Philly is the first pro sports city ever, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, to have a top two picks in each of the MLB, NBA and NFL drafts in the same year. … The Phillies activated righthander Michael Mariot from the disabled list and optioned him to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Mariot, 27, was claimed on waivers from Kansas City last winter. He missed all of spring training with a sprained right ankle.