In truth, pretty much no one had ever heard of him. He was about as unknown as a player could be who’s been in an organization for 10 years.
When Elian Herrera was called up May 14, he was just supposed to be a temporary fill-in, a versatile guy to move around until Juan Uribe’s wrist healed.
Only now, almost every game Herrera makes some type of contribution for the Dodgers. He does something. Gets a hit, drives in a run, steals a base, scores a run. Has an impact.
He has started 24 games, somewhere — third (10), second (nine), center (four) and left (one). In the 27 games he’s received an at-bat, he’s had an hit in 20 of them.
“For a guy who wasn’t even in camp during spring training, it’s hard to say I’m not surprised,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “At this point, you start counting on him.”
The 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic is hitting .296 and has scored 17 runs and driven in 14 in just 98 at-bats. He’s stolen three bases. Has a .395 on-base percentage.
If Herrera was slow to develop in the minors, he arrived to the Dodgers a polished baseball player. Now he’s their biggest surprise, and an almost daily one. He's made himself valuable.
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