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Phillies GM Klentak says Herrera will stay in center field

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

After failing to win his first Gold Glove Tuesday night, Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera won't be looking at a position chance, according to his general manager.

Second year general manager Matt Klentak, who is currently at the league's general manager's meetings, says that despite speculation, the plan on Nov. 9 is for Herrera to be the team's 2017 Opening Day starter in center field:

“Right now we have to look at Odubel Herrera as our everyday center fielder,” Klentak said. “He's been that for two straight years and he's been really good at it." [Quote via Ryan Lawrence of Philly Voice]

While it remains possible that the Phillies change their mind, or even trade Herrera, if he opens up the season in center field, that would have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the Phillies outfield. Both Aaron Altherr and Roman Quinn are also capable of playing center field, so if the team plans to keep Herrera in center field, those two could be pushed to either a corner outfield position or in the case of Quinn, possibly the minor leagues. 

Klentak seemingly suggesting that Herrera has earned playing in center field in 2017 may perhaps differ from the opinion of manager Pete Mackanin, who seemed to have Herrera in his doghouse for much of the second half of the 2016 season. For what it is worth, 2017 is the final guaranteed year of Mackanin's contract, with the club holding a 2018 option on him as well. 

Herrera was a mixed bag of sorts in center field in 2016. Though he fielded much better in the second half of the season, Herrera posted a 6.1 dWAR in 2016, as opposed to a 11.7 dWAR in 2015, which was his first year playing the position. Herrera did also finish fifth among center fielders in UZR for the second consecutive season, but saw both his UZR and UZR/150 drop fairly dramatically in 2016. 

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