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Phillies stick with Herrera, despite mental errors

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHOENIX -- Odubel Herrera made a few notable mental mistakes Tuesday and Wednesday against the Cardinals, but he still found himself in the lineup Thursday night against Arizona at Chase Field.

"I'm not going to punish him," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before the game. "He's our everyday center fielder and I'm playing him."

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PHOENIX -- Odubel Herrera made a few notable mental mistakes Tuesday and Wednesday against the Cardinals, but he still found himself in the lineup Thursday night against Arizona at Chase Field.

"I'm not going to punish him," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before the game. "He's our everyday center fielder and I'm playing him."

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Herrera blew past third-base coach Juan Samuel's stop sign in the bottom of the ninth inning of Tuesday's 7-6 loss in 10 innings, getting thrown out at the plate by several feet. It ended the inning and an opportunity to win the game. Herrera got picked off at third base Wednesday and then made a painfully slow walk back to the dugout. He later stood at second base on a running count with Maikel Franco on the move from first base.

Of course, Herrera also has posted a .963 OPS in June. The Phillies need help offensively and Herrera is providing it.

"I think I can get more out of him by sitting down with him and talking to him directly," Mackanin said. "Last year I took him out of a game for not running to get his attention, if you remember, in Detroit. I think that got his attention, but it's a constant process."

Does Mackanin think Herrera will ever get it?

"I hope so," he said. "You look back at Cesar [Hernandez]. He made some mental mistakes and I think he's beyond that. I talk to [Herrera] off and on. Once again, the job of a manager is to know your players and how to handle them. Each guy is an individual."

Mackanin said some of Herrera's teammates have gotten vocal with him the past couple days.

"I think Franco was screaming at him when he was standing on second base," Mackanin said. "What are you doing? Go to third."

Ramos' issues 

Edubray Ramos' sophomore season has been a disappointment -- he has a 5.10 ERA in 33 appearances -- and his past three appearances have been alarming. He has faced eight batters and recorded only one out. He has allowed three hits, seven runs, three walks and one balk. He has committed one throwing error. He has struck out one.

Like Herrera, the Phillies plan to keep running Ramos out there.

"Just keep pitching," Mackanin said. "There's no other way to get around it. Hopefully I can get him in a game where he can have a good inning and regain some confidence. Because his confidence is down. I don't know why he went into that funk he did, but it happens.

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

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