The New York Mets went 77-85 in 2011. As suggested by the sub-par record, there were a fair share of ups and downs throughout the season. “2011 Season in Review,” which will be an ongoing series, will analyze every single Mets player who picked up a ball or glove in 2011, for better or worse. This particular “2011 Season in Review” will take a look at relief pitcher, Danny Herrera.
For those who didn’t completely block-out the 2011 season, Danny Herrera was the “key” return in the Francisco Rodriguez salary dump. Seeing as the southpaw hurled a 21.60 ERA, 4.20 WHIP, and 5.4 BB/9 (with zero strikeouts) in 1.6 innings for the Brewers, he was obviously expendable, to say at least.
Herrera’s first and more-or-less last full-season in the Major Leagues dates back to 2009 with the Cincinnati Reds. The left-handed pitcher, then 24 years-old, hurled 61.6 helpful innings, posting a 3.06 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 1.83 K/BB. However, 2009 was Herrera’s last fully successful season in the show. He started off 2010 well, posting a 1.08 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 5.00 K/BB during April, but managed just a 5.52 ERA, 1.97 WHIP, and 1.80 K/BB the rest of the way.
The Reds hid Herrera in Triple-A to start 2011, but placed him on waivers after 18.6 innings–prompting the Milwaukee Brewers to scoop him up. It was a prudent decision by the Brew Crew, as the lefty pitched a 1.48 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 4.88 K/BB in 42.6 Triple-A innings. Even though Herrera didn’t pitch to hot when he got the call (21.60 ERA, 4.20 WHIP, and 5.4 BB/9), he did own a magnificent 1.13 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 2.50 K/BB in 8 innings for the Mets.
The small sample size with the Mets is nothing to get excited about, but Herrera’s career .215/.280/.308 line against left-handed hitters is notable and useful. Tim Byrdak will be the featured lefty-specialist in the Mets 2012 bullpen, but it never hurts to have a second southpaw–and that seems to be the role Danny Herrera will play next season.