Colorado Rockies Old Friend: Do You Miss Jonathan Herrera?
Jul 2, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman J. Herrera (19) rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Mets during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies have had weak production from utility infielders the last couple seasons — but they had a decent one a few years back that they shipped away.
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The current utility infielder for the Chicago Cubs, Jonathan Herrera came up with the Colorado Rockies first in 2008, and then played in the big leagues with the Rox from 2010-2013, putting up some quietly decent numbers as a little-used utility infielder for the franchise.
In his Rockies’ career, Herrera slashed .265/.325/.332 in 375 games (1109 plate appearances) before he was shipped off to the Boston Red Sox before the 2014 season in exchange for — yup — Franklin Morales and relief pitcher Chris Martin.
Now, none of those three guys are with their trading organizations; Martin is with the Yankees, Morales is playing baseball in a large cardboard refrigerator box on the streets of Decatur, Illinois, and Herrera is with the Cubs.
Herrera’s done for the Cubs pretty much exactly what he did for the Rockies; play a little defense, pinch hit, sub in, give other guys their days off, and do well enough when he gets chances — .255/.270/.337 with three doubles, a triple, a homer, and just 13 strikeouts in 104 plate appearances — to make his roster spot worthwhile for a playoff-worthy team.
Herrera will be 31 in November, and considering the exciting young players the Cubs have around the infield (Starlin Castro, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant), let’s not get it twisted: Johnny isn’t exactly a crucial component to the future of the Cubbies. Expect Herrera to be elsewhere in 2016.
But don’t underestimate the importance of having a guy who’s played nearly 500 big league games over seven years on your roster, if only to help guide the younger guys (specifically Russell and Bryant) as they navigate the inevitable challenges of the Major Leagues.
Now, considering the Rockies’ utility infield situation the last couple years (Rafael Ynoa, Charlie Culberson, Daniel Descalso, Josh Rutledge), Herrera sure ain’t lookin’ too bad, eh?