The Philadelphia Phillies selected the contract of outfielder Odubel Herrera on Monday, and he played in his first major league game since May 26, 2019, following a suspension for domestic violence.
Herrera was suspended for 85 games, then did not play last year after being designated for assignment during the shortened season.
“We just felt it was time,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said pregame, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“Some people aren’t necessarily going to like this decision, and those are feelings I respect. Some people probably don’t care so much either way. And there will be other people who say, ‘Let’s see what he can do with a second chance.’ There is probably a myriad of emotions with the fans in the stands, and I get that, and we’ll deal with them as they come.”
After his first game with the Phillies in spring training in March, Herrera apologized and vowed he’s a better person.
“I feel sorry because I made a big mistake,” he said. “I know some people are not going to forgive me, and I understand that. I spent the last two years earning [my girlfriend’s] trust back and I’m grateful she forgave me. Now, I would like to have the same opportunity with my teammates, our fans and the Phillies family.”
Herrera, 29, will earn $10 million in 2021 in the final season of a $30.5 million, five-year contract that includes two club options. He was an All-Star in his second season in the majors in 2016 when he batted .286 with 15 homers, 49 RBIs, 25 stolen bases and had a .361 on-base percentage. He had a career-high 22 homers and 71 RBIs in 2018.
Herrera had lost his starting job and was batting just .222 at the time of his arrest. The charges against Herrera were later dismissed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.