I’ll be the first to give Elian Herrera a hearty congrats on a nice start to his career and for playing his role perfectly in relief of Mark Ellis, but let’s also make no mistake about the future. With some speculating that he could be a regular down the road, I just wanted to remind people that his start is almost entirely a mirage.
He hits for no power, is an average baserunner, is a fringe/average fielder, strikes out in almost a quarter of his plate appearances, and has a .362 BABIP that was near .400 a week or so ago. He does have an impressive walk rate of 12.2 percent, and that underlying skill is certainly useful on a major league roster, especially when combined with the ability to play almost every position.
With that said though, the raised expectations and adulation heaped on him after a month and a half stint is quite a bit out of line. Put it this way, there’s a reason he spent ten years in the minors and didn’t hit the show until age 27. In the name of sanity, the obvious must be stated, and after seeing countless pieces praising his contributions, I felt like his 2012 production needed to be put into perspective.
Nobody is saying not to enjoy the ride, just please don’t be surprised if it comes to a screeching halt, which is the direction his season already seems to be going. Herrera is hitting .179/.256/.256/.512 over his last 43 plate appearances heading into play on June 26th.
Regardless, the man has already served his purpose. Herrera helped the Dodgers by eliminating the temptation to call Aaron Miles, and he may even lead to Adam Kennedy‘s release, but that’s where expectations for him should end.