LOS ANGELES -- It is too early to say what the Phillies' outfield will look like next season, but it is not a stretch to think Aaron Altherr could be in center field.Of course, first things first."Altherr still has to prove himself offensively," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday before
LOS ANGELES -- It is too early to say what the Phillies' outfield will look like next season, but it is not a stretch to think Aaron Altherr could be in center field.
Of course, first things first.
"Altherr still has to prove himself offensively," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday before Altherr hit a two-run homer in a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. "I like what I see and I think he's going to. But he's a darn good center fielder. He plays anywhere well. He glides to the ball. It's fun watching him play. A good chance he'll be the center fielder and we'll move Odubel [Herrera]. But we're not doing anything right now."
Herrera has been the team's everyday center fielder since last season, when he joined the team as a Rule 5 Draft pick. He made the National League All-Star team this season, but he has taken a step back defensively. His UZR (ultimate zone rating) dropped from 9.9 in 2015 to 0.2 in '16.
"At some point, the thought crossed my mind to make that switch this year," Mackanin said. "Maybe in September, just to get Odubel familiarized with a corner. But he adapted to center field so well last year. This year, he's not quite the same guy. If I have what I consider a better defender in center field, that's what I'd like to do."
One reason the Phillies are reluctant to have Herrera work out on the corners right now is that he has struggled offensively. The Phillies' don't want to put too much on his table.
But it sounds like a change is coming at some point. If it's not Altherr in center field it could be Double-A Reading prospect Roman Quinn, for example.
Bye bye, Brett
The Angels claimed left-hander Brett Oberholtzer off waviers. The Phillies designated him for assignment over the weekend.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.