Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera was arrested on charges of domestic abuse Monday night in Atlantic City (see story).
Let’s try to answer some questions on the matter:
How did the Phillies find out?
Bonnie Clark, the Phillies’ vice president of communications, learned of the arrest about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning from a law enforcement official in Atlantic City and immediately phoned general manager Matt Klentak, who was in a meeting preparing for the upcoming draft. In a text, Klentak asked Clark if the matter could wait. She replied, “No. Urgent.”
What did Klentak do?
He immediately alerted his superiors, including ownership. He followed protocol and alerted Major League Baseball. He then phoned manager Gabe Kapler, who was at a Starbucks.
Did the Phillies speak with Herrera?
Yes. Klentak and Kapler phoned Herrera at his residence and told him he was being placed on seven-day administrative leave, as per MLB rule. They told him not to report to the ballpark.
Klentak would not offer details of the conversation, but he did say that Herrera apologized. For what, the incident, the distraction? “I think all of the above,” Klentak said.
The GM talked about how seriously the organization took the charges and the overall matter of domestic abuse, but he could not speak specifically about the matter because of the ongoing investigation.
Kapler also avoided talking about details because of the ongoing investigation. He did offer this, however:
“I can speak for myself and say it’s deeply disturbing,” he said. “It’s not something you want to be dealing with. I’m personally not feeling great about it right now.”
As a player, Kapler and his ex-wife, Lisa, led a foundation that helped victims of domestic abuse so he was personally troubled by the news.
What happens during the seven-day administrative leave?
MLB, in concert with law enforcement officials, investigates the charges against Herrera. If it needs more time to gather facts, the leave can be extended. If MLB finds no wrongdoing, Herrera could conceivably be reinstated. These “leaves” are often extended.
Does Herrera get paid during the leave?
Yes. He continues to receive his $5.35 million salary.
Can Herrera be suspended?
Yes. The Commissioner of baseball, depending on the results of the investigation, can suspend Herrera. Any suspension would be without pay. The Commissioner handles all discipline in these matters.
How long can these suspensions last?
Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell recently completed a 40-game suspension.
Can the Phillies void Herrera's contract if he is found guilty?
No. The domestic abuse agreement between MLB and the players association does not allow that.
If the Phillies were to decide that they wanted to release Herrera, they would be on the hook for the remainder of his contract — about $23.7 million through 2021.
Have we seen the last of Herrera as a Phillie?
“I think that's premature to speculate at this point,” Klentak said. “There's not enough information about what happened.”
What are Herrera's teammates saying?
Kapler held a team meeting to address the situation with players. Players were pretty tight-lipped.
“I don’t know enough to comment,” Scott Kingery said. “We’re all ready to go play and try to win a game tonight.”
For the record, all players attend a morning seminar during spring training on the matter of domestic abuse.
How did the Phillies fill Herrera's roster spot?
Outfielder Nick Williams was recalled from Triple A.
With Herrera out, who plays center field?
Andrew McCutchen moved over from left field and was set to start at the position Tuesday night. Williams got the call in left field. This will likely be the way the Phillies go against right-handed pitchers. Against lefties, Kingery will likely start in center field with McCutchen in left. Kapler confirmed that was the plan. Roman Quinn will likely begin a minor-league rehab assignment later this week. He could enter the center field picture when the Phils return from the West Coast on June 7.
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