Sunday, February 28, 2021
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Rhys Hoskins Says It’s on Odubel Herrera to Win Teammates’ Trust Back

Rhys Hoskins says it’s on Odubel Herrera to win teammates’ trust back originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Rhys Hoskins is the Phillies player representative on union matters. With that leadership position comes a responsibility to gauge the feelings of teammates on many issues.

Like, for instance, Odubel Herrera.

Would Phillies players welcome the outfielder back into the clubhouse if he makes the team more than a year after his suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s policy against domestic abuse ended?

“I wish I had a crystal ball,” Hoskins said in a videoconference shortly after the team’s first full-squad workout of the spring in Clearwater, Florida on Monday.

“Everyone is going to react differently to a situation like this. Maybe some guys have something like this in their past and it cuts a little bit deeper. Some guys may also believe that everybody deserves a second chance if they’ve proven that they’re willing to move on.

“So, I don’t know how it’s going to play out. I think everybody is kind of watching it. We just all know that it’s on him to try to gain the trust of the organization back that he’s become a better person because of it.”

Herrera, 29, was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in May 2019. Though legal charges were dropped, Herrera served an 85-game suspension without appeal. The suspension ended after the 2019 season and Herrera was removed from the Phillies’ major-league roster but remained in the organization because the joint agreement on domestic abuse between MLB and the union prohibits a violating player from having his contract voided and only allows a release for baseball reasons. Herrera is signed through 2021 and is owed $13 million.

Herrera is participating in what the Phillies are calling a mini-camp with other minor-league players from the organization. Though he dresses in the clubhouse at the minor-league complex, Herrera, and all players at the mini-camp, come in contact with players in big-league camp and are technically in competition to make the big-league club. It’s quite possible that the Phillies will take a look at Herrera in Grapefruit League play when those games start Sunday.

Herrera has already come in contact with some Phillies veterans. Pitcher Aaron Nola said last week that he’d be OK with giving Herrera a second chance in the clubhouse. Hoskins has spoken to Herrera, as well.

“We spent some time the last couple of days,” Hoskins said. “He seems like he’s in a good place right now. How that shows itself over the next six or eight weeks, who knows? So, we’ll try to take it day by day.

“I don’t know anybody who would condone what happened a couple years ago. I think we have to remember that he was in minor-league camp last year so I think that’s important to remember.

“Everyone knows he’s going to have to earn the clubhouse’s trust back and I think he knows it, as well. So, I think that’s what we’re going to focus on as a group. Obviously, he needs to play and make the team, but we’re just going to try to focus on seeing what he can do to earn our trust back and let the chips kind of fall where they may.”

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