Haseley's groin strain alters CF battle

Outfielder expected to miss 4 weeks, likely out for Opening Day

March 5th, 2021

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies had a handful of candidates competing for a job in center field, but they lost one Friday. An MRI exam revealed that suffered a moderate groin strain this week and he will miss four weeks.

The injury effectively takes Haseley out of the running to be the Phillies’ Opening Day center fielder.

“It’s unfortunate,” manager Joe Girardi said. “If he heals a little quicker, you never know.”

Haseley had been in the mix with , , , with probably a long-shot candidate, despite his impressive play early this spring. Haseley hit an opposite-field leadoff home run against a left-hander in Sunday’s Grapefruit League opener. He bulked up in the offseason and changed the bat path in his swing, which provided encouraging results.

Quinn went 1-for-2 with a double Friday. Moniak went 0-for-1. Herrera and Kingery did not play.

It is only a week’s worth of games, but Herrera has probably been the most impressive player in the group -- offensively, defensively and running the bases. Herrera is trying to regain a spot on the 40-man roster after the Phillies outrighted him in January 2020. He was arrested in May 2019 on a charge of simple assault of his girlfriend. The charge was dropped, but Major League Baseball suspended him 85 games.

Herrera knows not everybody will forgive him for his actions. He has spoken twice this week to his teammates: first to the players who traveled to Dunedin on Tuesday to play the Blue Jays and again Thursday before the Phillies' 15-0 win over the Yankees at BayCare Ballpark. Generally, Herrera’s brief addresses have been well-received in the clubhouse. He received applause and hugs from teammates on Tuesday.

“Of course, I don’t agree with what he did,” right fielder Bryce Harper said. “I don’t condone it. It’s something that just can’t happen. You cannot do that kind of thing in this world or in this life. But I’m not the maker. I’m not a person that can make that decision of forgiving him or not forgiving him. I’m not God. I’m going to let Odúbel do his thing and be him, and that’s about it.”