FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After a disappointing 1-for-11 showing for his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Odubel Herrera returned to the Phillies on Tuesday.
Pete Mackanin did not waste any time throwing Herrera in the lineup. He batted third -- where he is projected to hit on opening day -- and stroked a single and a double in five at-bats to help the Phillies rally for a 9-5 win over the Minnesota Twins (see game story). Herrera also scored two runs and made a nice running catch in center field.
"Odubel coming back 2 for 5, that was huge," Mackanin said.
Herrera's second hit of the day put the Phillies up in the ninth inning.
Herrera has just 19 at-bats in Grapefruit League play, so he will be in the lineup a lot over the final 11 days in Florida.
"I will be ready," he said.
Herrera has been the Phillies' best offensive player the past two seasons -- hitting .291 with a .773 OPS -- and management signed him to a five-year, $30.5 million contract in the offseason.
Mackanin believes Herrera can contend for a batting title if he adds a little more consistency to his game.
Does Herrera believe he can make a run at a batting title?
"Of course," he said. "I always have trust in myself.
"I do have some goals in mind, but I want to keep them to myself. I'm trying to be reserved when it comes to that. I'll try to show [them] as the season goes on."