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Inbox: What does the future hold for Herrera?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki fields Phillies fans' questions
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

Odubel Herrera has played great lately, but then Sunday he makes a big base running mistake. Isn't there something the Phillies can do about this?
- Mike M., Philadelphia.

First, Herrera has played great. In fact, he has been one of the best players in baseball for weeks. He entered Monday hitting .342 with 23 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 31 RBIs and a .966 OPS since June 1. Herrera's OPS is 17th out of 152 qualified hitters in that span. His 2.1 WAR since the All-Star break is the best in baseball, according to FanGraphs. That is better than Charlie Blackmon (1.9), Jose Altuve (1.9), Chris Taylor (1.9), Mike Trout (1.8) and Giancarlo Stanton (1.8).

Odubel Herrera has played great lately, but then Sunday he makes a big base running mistake. Isn't there something the Phillies can do about this?
- Mike M., Philadelphia.

First, Herrera has played great. In fact, he has been one of the best players in baseball for weeks. He entered Monday hitting .342 with 23 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 31 RBIs and a .966 OPS since June 1. Herrera's OPS is 17th out of 152 qualified hitters in that span. His 2.1 WAR since the All-Star break is the best in baseball, according to FanGraphs. That is better than Charlie Blackmon (1.9), Jose Altuve (1.9), Chris Taylor (1.9), Mike Trout (1.8) and Giancarlo Stanton (1.8).

If I had to put money on a current position player being on the Phillies in two or three years, I'd bet on Herrera. Sure, he is the only player signed beyond this season, but he also is the most talented player on the roster. And are there three outfielders in the system that are absolute locks to outplay him in the coming years?

But let's pump the brakes on the outrage after every mistake Herrera makes on the field. Herrera is 25 years old on a team that could finish with the worst record in baseball. They can afford to be patient with him right now. They can wait to see if he matures and improves. If he does, great. If he doesn't, the positives still might outweigh the negatives.

Submit a question to the Phillies Inbox

Who should be next player inducted onto the Phillies' Wall of Fame? --
Stan H., Philadelphia.

Scott Rolen is perhaps the most deserving. He left Philadelphia on bad terms and he got booed every time he stepped into the batter's box in Philadelphia. But Rolen is the second-greatest third baseman in Phillies history, and is a potential Hall of Famer. Rolen is absolutely worthy.

You know who else is worthy? Bobby Abreu.

Will Hector Neris be the closer next season? -
Frank F., Media, Pa.

Neris has not dominated in the ninth inning like he dominated the eighth inning last season, so it would make sense for the Phillies to find a closer on a one-year deal.

Neris has a 3.79 ERA (eight earned runs in 19 innings) in 20 save situations this season, but four of those earned runs came in 1/3 inning in a loss to the Dodgers in April. That gives him a 1.93 ERA in the other 19 save opportunities. He also has a 3.92 ERA (17 earned runs in 39 innings) in the ninth inning, but remove that one performance against the Dodgers and it drops to a more respectable 3.03 ERA.

It is a long way of saying there would be nothing wrong with the Phillies upgrading their closer next year, but it also is not the Phillies' great area of need. If the Phillies can improve their bullpen in other ways maybe they could try him again.

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.

Philadelphia Phillies