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Odúbel makes first public comments since arrest

@ToddZolecki
February 25, 2020

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Odúbel Herrera apologized Tuesday for his actions in May, when police arrested and charged him in Atlantic City, N.J., on a charge of simple assault of his girlfriend. He said he learned from it. He promised it will never happen again.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Odúbel Herrera apologized Tuesday for his actions in May, when police arrested and charged him in Atlantic City, N.J., on a charge of simple assault of his girlfriend.

He said he learned from it. He promised it will never happen again.

“I’m very regretful for what I did,” Herrera said through an interpreter in his first public comments since his arrest. “It’s been a lesson learned for me and I want to turn the page and keep going with life.”

The charge was dismissed, but Major League Baseball suspended Herrera 85 games for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. The suspension served, the Phillies then removed him from the 40-man roster in January, first designating him for assignment and then outrighting him to Triple-A. There is a very good chance he never plays again for the Phillies. There is a chance he never plays again in the big leagues. Herrera said he is not thinking about that.

“I only can control what I can control and that’s my main focus right now,” Herrera said.

Herrera said he completed multiple counseling sessions over two months in Center City in Philadelphia following his suspension. MLB mandated that he donate to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Herrera then pledged to make donations for an additional two years to PCADV.

“Honestly, this whole process has helped me become a better version of me,” Herrera said. “Especially the counseling sessions in Philly. They were great. There’s no one who regrets this more than me. It’s one of those things that I learned from and tried to get better from.”

Asked what happened that night in Atlantic City, Herrera said, “What I can tell you about that night is that I’m very sorry. Melany [Martinez-Angulo] and I have had a very long relationship. Like every couple, sometimes you argue. Sometimes there are problems. But we’ve grown as a couple. We have a healthy relationship. We’ve learned from that.”

He said it was not a pattern of behavior.

“No, obviously couples shouldn’t get to that,” Herrera said. “It was an unfortunate situation. I would say it was the lowest point in our relationship.”

But does he take ownership of his actions? His actions led to his arrest.

“Yes, for sure,” Herrera said. “Me. I have full responsibility for that. That’s how I feel.”

The couple remains together.

Herrera’s future in baseball is tenuous at best. He is working out this spring with the organization’s Minor Leaguers at Carpenter Complex. The Phillies owe him $20.2 million through 2021, whether or not he plays again in the big leagues. It includes $7.35 million in 2020, $10.35 million in 2021, plus a $2.5 million buyout on a 2022 club option.

He could be released at the end of Spring Training.

Herrera said he has not had an opportunity to apologize to his teammates, but that he hoped he would be welcomed back, if afforded the opportunity.

“We’re all human beings,” Herrera said. “We all make mistakes … I’m training hard. I’m a man of faith so if the Phillies give me a second chance, I would take advantage of that and play my hardest.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .