.250/.250/.250 8pa 0 hr .222 wOBA -0.1 fWAR (inc.)
2013 in brief: Appeared in just four games during the season, two of them as a pinch hitter, and collected two hits, which is one more than Drew Butera had.
2014 status: Claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers on November 4.
Hey, guess what? Writing reviews for every single player gets to be a pain, so some of our pals are going to help us out along the way. This one here is from Lobo, who says, “arrf arrf woof howl.” Thanks, Lobo!
If you had asked me before the season what the one thing I didn’t want to see happen was, I probably would have replied with “I don’t want to see Elian Herrera get significant playing time.” Ok, fine, what I probably really would have said is either “The Giants win another World Series” or “The Dodgers trade for Shane Victorino, again,” but Herrera is just a guy I did not want to see in Los Angeles this year. Why? Because as we saw in 2012, if Herrera is getting significant playing time, it means things have gone horribly, disastrously wrong.
Pictured: Things going horribly, disastrously wrong (h/t EephusBlue)
Somewhat amazingly, despite the completely unexpected collapse of Luis Cruz (/sarcasm) and the injuries to Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, etc., Herrera got into just 3 games before the All-Star break, going 1 for 3 in each of his two starts on May 8 and June 21 and failing to reach base in a pinch-hit appearance on June 20. As we all know, the Dodgers’ incredible 42-8 stretch began on June 22, so despite claims that the turnaround was caused by the brawl with the Diamondbacks or the ludicrous claims that it was due to Puig coming up and Hanley coming back from injury, I think we all know it was really due to Herrera inspiring the team to play better.
Herrera got into just one more game over the rest of the season, striking out in a pinch hit appearance against Cincinnati on July 28. One Mark Ellis flyout later, Yasiel Puig hit a walkoff homer, providing one of the season’s most memorable moments.
In case you couldn’t tell, Herrera did absolutely nothing of interest this season, and really, that’s perfectly OK. The important thing here is that the team was never QUITE desperate enough to bring him up for regular playing time (though they probably came close at some point, May and June were some DARK times). Hell, for that alone I’d give him a B even though it wouldn’t be for anything he did. The mere fact that he was never even put in a position to contribute anything positive or negative to the team is enough for me. So while Chris Jackson may miss Herrera next year, I’m sure most of us won’t give him a second thought.
Next! Oh, poor, poor, Matt Kemp!