The Mets completed their deal that sent Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers for two players to be named later. The new Mets are relievers Danny Herrera and Adrian Rosario. Likely neither player will make a big impact on the major league roster, but in true Sandy Alderson fashion, each of these players offers something that makes you pause.
Herrerra is a LOOGY who has already appeared in 115 games in the majors. He’s also now on his fourth organization and his third this year alone. Herrera started the year with the Reds and was picked up by the Brewers on waivers. Why the Mets passed on him earlier this year is up for debate but what’s not questionable is his success against LHB.
In 183 PA in the majors versus lefties, Herrera has limited them to a .213/.278/.306 line. For a comparison, this year Mets LOOGY Tim Byrdak has limited lefties to a .222/.264/.346 line. But while Herrera is filthy to LHB, righties have a much easier time with him. Lifetime, RHB have a .977 OPS in 231 PA.
Herrera has struck out Prince Fielder four times and held him hitless in seven PA, the second-most times he has faced any batter. Michael Bourn has 4 Ks in 6 hitless PA. Ryan Howard is 1-6 with four strikeouts, but the one hit was a HR.
Herrera generally does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground with a lifetime 1.66 GB/FB ratio. And his HR/FB rate is a normal 10.1 percent. He’s the kind of guy who could definitely help against the Phillies and their lefties, but he just should not be allowed to face a righty in any key situation
This may be the longest anyone has talked about Herrera before mentioning his height. Both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs list him as 5-foot-6. Since 1901, only six pitchers in MLB history are shorter than Herrera. Currently Willie Collazo, who pitched six games for the club in 2007, and Desi Relaford, who made one appearance in 2001, hold the Mets’ team record for being the shortest pitcher at 68 inches. Herrera is 66 inches tall.
As you might expect, Herrera is not overpowering. In the majors his fastball has averaged just 83.8 mph and has a negative Pitch Type Value (-1.25) per 100 pitches. But Herrera makes his living with his changeup, which floats to the plate at an average speed of 67.8 mph. His change is nearly as good (wCH/c of 1.19) as his fastball is bad. Herrera also throws a slider, which is essentially an average pitch.
The Mets had Herrera join them in Washington for today’s game against the Nationals. At the time I write this, he is on the 40-man roster. Interestingly, the Mets have 44 names on their 40-man roster currently. Three of them are on the 60-day DL but that still leaves the club one over. The Mets still have two players who could be moved to the 60-day DL to clear room for Herrera and that’s most likely how they will create the roster spot for him.
Rosario is another interesting guy. He’s a prototypical power pitcher but in five seasons in the Brewers’ system, he is still in A ball. In parts of two seasons in the Low-A Midwest League, Rosario posted 86 Ks in 65.2 IP. It’s that potential which prompted the Orioles to select Rosario in the Rule 5 Draft this year. Of course he didn’t make the team out of Spring Training and ended up back with the Brewers.
After pitching well in the Midwest League earlier this year, Rosario was promoted to Brevard County in the Hi-A Florida State League and found the road a whole lot rougher. After pitching out of the bullpen earlier, Rosario has started 14 of 16 games with Brevard County and has a 5.83 ERA with 39 Ks in 66.1 IP.
He’s another guy who will fight for a roster spot in the offseason. The Mets will have a busy offseason and will have a number of guys who need to be added to the 40-man, including long-touted Wilmer Flores. It’s unlikely Rosario will be added to the roster, as he’s had no time in the upper minors and struggled badly in his most recent outings. But he still has a live arm and he’s the type of guy who at least has a chance to put it together at some point.