MIAMI - Entering Saturday, Odubel Herrera stood with three National League stars. The Phillies centerfielder had started in every one of his team's games, a feat matched only by Joey Votto, Nolan Arenado, and Anthony Rizzo.
Could Herrera start all 162? It is unlikely. Just four Phillies have done it, and only Jimmy Rollins has accomplished it in the last 32 seasons. But Herrera said 162 is a goal. And his manager, Pete Mackanin, sees some merit to the idea. "He's full of energy," Mackanin said. "I think he can do it."
Now, Mackanin said, if the team has an especially brutal travel sequence or if he sees Herrera dragging, he could sit the former Rule 5 pick. Injuries happen, of course. But, with a punchless lineup, Mackanin cannot envision sacrificing a start for his best hitter just to rest him.
"I would love to play every single game," Herrera said through an interpreter. "That's one of my goals, actually. If the manager asks me to do that, I would be happy to do it."
As an everyday player in his rookie season, Herrera learned a routine that he uses as a crutch.
"It's not only a matter of getting ready physically, it's mental," Herrera said. "It's a long season."
The Phillies were one of many teams to have a scout at former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum's showcase Friday in Arizona. Other teams have greater pitching needs, and Lincecum - who wants to start - is expected to sign somewhere soon. . . . Two pitchers who are candidates to be the No. 1 pick in June struggled in Saturday starts. A.J. Puk, a lefthander at the University of Florida, walked six batters and hit another in 31/3 innings vs. Tennessee. Jason Groome, a prep lefthander at Barnegat (N.J.) High School, allowed seven runs (four earned) in 42/3 innings against Toms River North. Groome struck out nine, walked three, and hit a batter.