By Sam Bush
Odúbel Herrera was in Phillies camp yesterday to own up and apologize for being arrested and charged last May in Atlantic City on a charge of simple assault of his girlfriend.
“I’m very regretful for what I did,” Herrera said through an interpreter in his first public comments since his arrest. “It’s been a lesson learned for me and I want to turn the page and keep going with life.”
The charge was dismissed, but Major League Baseball suspended Herrera 85 games for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. The suspension served, the Phillies then removed him from the 40-man roster in January, first designating him for assignment and then outrighting him to Triple-A. There is a very good chance he never plays again for the Phillies. There is a chance he never plays again in the big leagues. Herrera said he is not thinking about that.
“I only can control what I can control and that’s my main focus right now,” Herrera said.
Herrera said he completed multiple counseling sessions over two months in Center City in Philadelphia following his suspension. MLB mandated that he donate to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Herrera then pledged to make donations for an additional two years to PCADV.
“Honestly, this whole process has helped me become a better version of me,” Herrera said. “Especially the counseling sessions in Philly. They were great. There’s no one who regrets this more than me. It’s one of those things that I learned from and tried to get better from.”
Herrera is working out this spring with the organization’s Minor Leaguers at Carpenter Complex. The Phillies owe him $20.2 million through 2021, whether or not he plays again in the big leagues. It includes $7.35 million in 2020, $10.35 million in 2021, plus a $2.5 million buyout on a 2022 club option.
He could be released at the end of Spring Training.
Herrera said he has not had an opportunity to apologize to his teammates, but that he hoped he would be welcomed back, if afforded the opportunity.
“We’re all human beings,” Herrera said. “We all make mistakes … I’m training hard. I’m a man of faith so if the Phillies give me a second chance, I would take advantage of that and play my hardest.”