Evaluating the Talent: Jonathan Herrera
Saturday’s trade of Clayton Mortensen for Boston’s Marco Scutaro completely changed the landscape at second base for the Rockies, and with it the future of Jonathan Herrera. I’ve always liked Herrera and respected his approach to the game, but his production is right around average or below it. For most teams, second base is not a position that sticks out as an especially productive one, unless your second baseman is Robinson Cano or Chase Utley. So it’s been okay for Herrera to hang out in the middle ground. However, there have been any number of others just as average as he is, and Jim Tracy thought the best way to handle that situation was to interchange them as much as possible. Therefore, none of them ever became accustomed to playing the position every day and they all continued to underachieve.
With Scutaro, that’s likely to change. So where does that leave Herrera and his .242 average? On the bench, and potentially not for very long. Herrera is a good baseball player with a strong work ethic and solid defensive skills, but he’s hit his ceiling. He’s never going to be amazing. So as long as someone who is amazing, or at least could be, is available, he probably won’t get much of a look. It’s really too bad, because he does bring some consistency to the table. But I’m afraid there won’t be much of a place for it in 2012.