Odubel Herrera cleared a couple of hurdles in his bid to rejoin the Phillies roster on Tuesday.
For the first time in 21 months, since he was first sidelined and later suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s policy against domestic abuse, he played in a game wearing a Phillies uniform.
Before taking the field in a spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida, Herrera, at his request, met with some teammates.
“I told them the last two years were hard because I was away from baseball,” Herrera said in a videoconference with reporters after the game. “I told them I love this uniform and I feel happy to wear this uniform again.”
The meeting lasted only five minutes, Herrera said. As he first did publicly over a year ago, he expressed sorrow for the incident that occurred in Atlantic City in May 2019 when he assaulted his girlfriend, Melany Martinez-Angulo. Legal charges were dropped and Herrera served an 85-game suspension without appeal. The joint agreement between MLB and the Players Association prohibits releasing or voiding the contract of a player who violates the policy against domestic abuse.