The Phillies have been without outfielder Odubel Herrera since May 27, when he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. After waiving his arraignment, Herrera appeared in court on Wednesday morning. Charges against Herrera in this incident were dropped.
Herrera's girlfriend declined to move forward with the case, according to the Philadelphia' Inquirer's Amy Rosenberg, present for the case. Rosenberg captured video of Herrera and girlfriend Melany Martinez-Argulo as they left the courtroom:
Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera and his girlfriend leave Atlantic City Municipal court hand in hand after she declined to press charges that he assaulted her in a casino. He will get counseling for 60 days. pic.twitter.com/BpK81m4qQI— Amy S. Rosenberg (@amysrosenberg) July 3, 2019
Rosenberg reported that the Judge dismissed the case continent upon the couple attending counseling.
According to the Domestic Violence Network, 33% of cases are dismissed due to the party who was affected not testifying, in various shapes or forms. Sometimes victims do not testify out of fear. Martinez-Argulo testified this was not the case, according to Rosenberg's report.
This is not necessarily a final determination with Major League Baseball. The standards of evidence are much stronger in a criminal court than Major League Baseball's threshold of evidence to reinstate a player on administrative leave. Baseball's investigation is independent from a trial, though evidence from the trial would be taken into account.
Major League Baseball will make their independent determination about what occurred under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy and make a decision from there, which could include an unpaid suspension.
In the case of Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs, Russell was suspended 40 games without any type of legal conviction. The same was true for Roberto Ozuna, then of the Toronto Blue Jays, who received a 75-game suspension for an incident not going to trial. In both cases, their administrative leave was applied towards a suspension.
32 games have passed since Herrera was placed on administrative leave. Should the suspension be for 40 games like Russell, Herrera would be eligible to return Monday, July 15. Should the suspension be for 75 games like Ozuna, Herrera could be eligible to return the last week of August.
Herrera can begin a rehab assignment even ahead of those dates. If the suspension is for 40 games and time served, that could happen almost immediately.
The Phillies now face a dilemma: do they reinstate Herrera when a suspension, if any, is up? Based on precedence, they may not be dealing with a suspension that lasts the rest of the season. The Phillies will have to be prepared to make a decision and stick to it.
The Toronto Blue Jays moved on from Ozuna, sending him in a trade to the Houston Astros. The Chicago Cubs decided to move forward with Russell, though it led to much controversy. The current administrative leave for Herrera lasts until Friday, July 5.