Jonathan Herrera was acquired via trade in the off-season from the Colorado Rockies. Ben Cherington and company surmised his defensive skills, versatility, solid batting average, and exceptional on-base percentage would forge him into a valuable commodity. However, on May 30th he had been far from it.
The utility man had compiled a paltry—and that’s understating it— 171/.277/.171 slash line at that juncture. He was no Brendan Ryan, and didn’t “wow” anyone defensively through his first 25 games in a Red Sox uniform.
So cognizant the Red Sox could not afford that abysmal production in their already struggling lineup, Brock Holt got the majority of playing time in Will Middlebrooks’ absence. Holt then emerged as arguably the Red Sox’ best player, which means when Middlebrooks returns to the field, Herrera is the assumed odd man out. No one would have a quarrel with that prospect on May 30th, but eight days later, it has gotten a lot tougher.
Entering Saturday, in his last four games, Herrera had gone 7 for his last 15, including collecting his first extra base hit Friday. In the first 25 games he produced seven hits, but in the last four he has doubled that total.
The switch-hitter’s versatility is coveted by a lot of teams; however, if he does as poorly as he was offensively his first 25 contests, then he doesn’t provide much value. That said, his track-record suggests he’s not nearly this bad. There’s a lot to like about him, but when Middlebrooks returns, there is no room for him on this team. Sadly, Herrera’s career with the Red Sox may be culminating within the next few weeks.