There are rumors surfacing that career minor league infielder Elian Herrera is being called up to the Dodgers. According to an article from Tony Jackson. This is a very strange move. Herrera has primarily been playing second base for Albuquerque this year. However he can also play shortstop and third base. Apparently Herrera has been swinging a hot bat down there. Posting a line of .358/.381/.550 with two home runs in 28 games. According to sources, Herrera was mysteriously not in the lineup Sunday night for the Isotopes. This coincides with Dee Gordon not being inconspicuously out of the lineup Sunday afternoon for the Dodgers. So is Gordon getting sent down to the minors? Is Herrera the new shortstop and lead-off hitter?
It’s possible. Considering how awful Gordon has been, I wouldn’t be surprised. Gordon has been struggling on both offense and defense. Flailing away at the plate, he is hitting only .211 with a .250 OBP and 0 for his last 14 at-bats. In the field, he has been wildly bumbling around the field, getting in the way on nearly every play, and all of his throws make me cringe.
So if Gordon is being sent down for Herrera, then who is he? I have vaguely heard of him. He has never even been invited to the Dodgers spring training camp, so I don’t think I have ever seen him play, even on TV. Herrera was signed by the Dodgers eight years ago in 2003. He is 27-years old, Dominican born, 5’11, and 190. He is a switch-hitter, which may be another reason he has piqued the Dodgers interest. Having a 17-game hitting streak down in triple-A doesn’t hurt either. Herrera has played all over the diamond in recent years. He has seen time at second, third, shortstop, and all three outfield positions. Very versatile. He has also stolen 9 out of 12 this year, and has as many as 42 for Inland Empire in 2009.
Dustin Nosler of feelinkindablue.com who covers the minor leagues quite religiously, thinks this is a Gordon demotion move. Could he be right? However I am not sure. Remember we are still awaiting the MRI results from Matt Kemp’s left hamstring after he re-injured it during today’s game and had to be removed. As horrifying as it sounds, Bison could be headed to the DL. Could Herrera be replacing Bison? Seems like a slim chance, but you never know.
Of course Herrera could be replacing a couple of other players like Justin Sellers or dare we dream guys?…Adam Kennedy? (Places pinky finger to mouth like Dr. Evil). This could end up being a lateral move if Herrera ends up sucking, although it is hard to imagine Herrera or anyone else playing any worse than Gordon has in recent weeks. Where does newly called up outfielder Scott Van Slyke fit into all of this? I still think it’s a pretty slim chance that Sellers or even the horrendous Kennedy are being replaced.
If Gordon is demoted, it isn’t a big deal. We all have known for some time that while Gordon is extremely talented and athletically gifted, he is also very raw and inexperienced. I would think that this would be a “work on stuff” demotion for Gordon, who should be back up with the big club as soon as he works on getting his swing and his swag back. Or then again, nothing could happen, and this could all be just a rumor. Again nothing is confirmed and this is pure speculation until an announcement is made tomorrow or the next day.
We will know a lot more tomorrow of course. What makes the most sense, if Herrera is coming up, is that he would be replacing Gordon. So is there any truth to these rumors? Unclear. However with the MLB best record Dodgers leading the NL West by six games, and after a rousing 11-5 Mother’s Day win over Colorado, it should make for an interesting next couple of days. We will know more tomorrow.