Friday, March 6, 2020

Gio II? Rosell Herrera continues to hit

Yesterday, in a wind-blasted game that launched 11 HRs, the phantom nobody - "Humble Howard" Rosell Herrera - continued his quest to send Tyler Wade back to Scranton, perhaps permanently. 

Herrera - a 27-year-old, switch-hitting, utility OF-IF - went 2-2 with a walk, three runs scored, and two doubles. Not bad. He's hitting .563 for the spring - 9 for 16 on your Small Sample Size index. Not bad. Only three Ks. (FYI: Wade has eight.) Herrera's four RBIs tie him for second on the team (though it should be noted that Thairo Estrada, another roadblock to a roster spot, is tied for the lead, with five. Gleyber has five. Long live Gleyber!

At least in our dreams, Herrera resembles the Second Coming of Gio Urshela, a once-failed prospect who suddenly learns to hit. His past showed little offense - a lifetime .200 - as he reaches what should be peak foliage. If he and Wade continue on their divergent paths - Wade is 2-for-19 - Tyler could once again be jettisoned to Central Pa. (thought it should be noted that Wade has two SBs, leading the team, which might make him a pinch-running specialist.

Right now, Herrera may have reached "front-runner" status in the campaign for 26th man. So here are some notes to ponder:

1. Last year, his main position was CF. He played 40 games there. (He also played LF, RF, and middle infield - though only four games at SS - his original position - and one apiece at 3B and 2B. (Yesterday, he played 3B.) Before last year, he shaped up as a CF, RF, 2B. Clearly, Herrera has expanded his options in hopes of sticking on the mother ship.

2. For whatever it's worth, Herrera hits righties better than lefties - last year by about 100 points. (He hit .233 LH and .125, RH.) The sample size kills any real analysis. Also, when you're hitting .125, does it matter? Earlier this week, Aaron Boone touted Herrera in a post-game interview, a feel-good story to take the heat off of injuries. I've seen no reports suggesting that - as Urshela maintained last year - Herrera has changed his batting approach. 

3. Everything hinges on Aaron Judge's mystery ailment - a phrase that conjures fear just typing it. If he cannot make opening day, Clint Frazier probably sticks with the team, leaving Herrera to duke it out with Wade, Estrada and Zack Granite, a defensive CF. 

Years ago, I watched a wind-funneled exhibition game between the O's and Blue Jays, where routine pop flies soared out of the park. I'm hoping that's what happened yesterday, with Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery. In the meantime, it sure would be nice to find another gem in the scrap pile. If there is one in 2020, it looks like Herrera. He's got 20 days to prove himself. Let's see.


TheWinWarblist said...

.125? Was that with power?

JM said...

Is his nickname Rosie? Will the Master's home run call be, "Rosie rivets one!"

If so, we have to keep him on the roster.

Alphonso said...

Please note, however: when I first saw this guy make a play for the Yanks ( 5-7 days ago ), he was playing third. He fielded a tough hop ground ball and fired a bullet...perfect first for the out.

I mean, it was a bullet. Straight and true.

As a former third baseman, I could appreciate the strength and accuracy of that arm.

His hitting is shaking up the world. No one believes it.

But he can also run. He has made zero errors.

I hope he makes it.

We may have a gem....even though the odds are slim ( based on his mediocre history in the bigs ).

Maye he can pitch.

smurfy said...

Maybe he decided, the hell with launch angle, I'm going back to hitting it on the button.

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