Tony Jackson of ESPN LA tweeted the news tonight:
"I'm told Elian Herrera on his way up. Not sure what it means other than that Gordon probably will move out of leadoff spot"Not sure what to make of this, other than the Dodgers might be making a rash decision (which I'll get into later in the post).
Herrera, a 27-year-old career minor-leaguer, is hitting .358/.381/.550 with two home runs, nine doubles, four triples, nine stolen bases and 22 runs scored in 28 games for the Albuquerque Isotopes this season.
OK, so he's mashing at Triple-A, but who isn't (you know, besides Jerry Sands, who has responded to my post from last night with a two-home run game tonight and nine total bases).
Herrera hasn't exactly distinguished himself outside of the friendly confines that is Isotopes Park (1.046 OPS at home, .816 on the road), but he's done enough, apparently, to earn a call-up.
Herrera is a career .282/.363/.388 hitter in more than 2,000 minor-league plate appearances. So, his on-base skills are decent for his career, but they aren't nearly as impressive this season. I guess hitting .358 doesn't leave a whole lot of room for walking, but he's drawn just five walks in 127 plate appearances.
To make room on the 40-man roster, someone needs to be designated for assignment. The candidates: Matt Angle and Trent Oeltjen. Mike Petriello threw out Adam Kennedy, but that'd be too good to be true.
Herrera is the definition of a utility player, as he's played five positions in 28 games, with 10 games coming at second base, six at second base and four at shortstop.
Jackson also speculated either Matt Kemp could hit the disabled list (having an MRI on his hamstring tomorrow after coming out in the fourth inning today) to make room for Herrera. But the one move I thought about immediately involves Dee Gordon.
If a move must be made, I'd prefer Gordon get dropped in the lineup (to eighth) before he were to be demoted to Albuquerque. The Dodgers are in first place with a six-game lead in the division. If there's any time for them to allow a young player to work through his struggles with the big league club, it's now.
It wouldn't be the worst thing for Gordon to get more seasoning in the minors, but he's already here -- the Dodgers just need to let him fight through it. He did post a .304/.325/.362 line in 233 plate appearances last season, so the ability is there.
We all knew Gordon would have his growing pains. That's the kind of player he is. But if the Dodgers feel like a duo of Justin Sellers and Herrera is better at shortstop right now, then sobeit.
If it's between Gordon getting demoted and Kemp going on the DL, I'll take the former. Let's hope it's Juan Uribe's wrist acting up, Kennedy getting Das Boot or something else completely unforeseen... or maybe not.
Herrera: mwlguide, Flickr