Healthy Herrera regaining hitting form

Healthy Herrera regaining hitting form

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If the Phillies stand pat, it looks like Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos and Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Goeddel will be in the starting lineup Opening Day on April 4 in Cincinnati against the Reds.

Some combination of Cedric Hunter, David Lough and Emmanuel Burriss could round out the outfield.

Herrera went 3-for-3 in Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Red Sox at JetBlue Park. He is 5-for-10 with one double since missing nine games because of a bruised left middle finger.

"I feel fine," Herrera said through the Phillies' translator. "I don't think it's an issue anymore. The more I play, the better I feel."

But what about the rest of the outfield?

Bourjos hit .200 with a .623 OPS in 225 plate appearances in 2015. He is batting .311 with a .948 OPS in 45 at-bats this spring. Goeddel has never played higher than Double-A. He has posted a .250 average with a .674 OPS in 52 at-bats.

Bourjos' RBI single

The Phillies have said they are not aggressively pursuing outfield help, despite injuries to Aaron Altherr and Cody Asche, and production concerns surrounding the others. But that could be because they figured players would become available before the end of the month.

That is exactly what is happening.

Yankees outfielder Chris Denorfia opted out of his contract. Some in the organization like him. David Murphy could opt out of his contract with the Red Sox on Sunday. The Indians released Will Venable.

Other teams will be making moves in the next week, so the Phillies should have more options to choose from.

But at least Herrera is hitting the ball well.

"He's a freak," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's just a real different kind of hitter. He's got such great hand-eye coordination. It doesn't take him long to get on track."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.