Who Is Daniel Herrera?

You may be interested in learning more about the diminutive Daniel Herrera — the 5’6″ lefthander acquired by the Mets as one of the PTBNLs in the K-Rod deal. To begin, you can call him “Danny” for short.

Sorry for the pun, I couldn’t resist. But seriously, people call him Danny. And yes he’s small in stature compared to most big league pitchers. However he has a huge heart, is a competitor, and wise beyond his 26 years.

He has to be, because he fits the “soft-tossing lefty” descriptor to a “T”, considering that his fastball averages about 84 MPH and he throws a change-up in the 60s. You’ll also see him throw a screwball (which really is a type of change-up), a slurve, and rumor has it he’s tinkering with a knuckleball. Considering that his change-up barely breaks the highway speed limit, one has to wonder: will the knuckleball be so slow it will go backward? I’m having visions of Bugs Bunny perplexing the Gashouse Gorillas with his super slow ball.

Danny Herrera has 115 games of MLB experience under his belt, going back to 2008. He appeared in 70 games with the Reds in 2009, posting a respectable 3.06 ERA and so-so WHIP of 1.41. So when Mets GM Sandy Alderson stated that one of the PTBNLs was “already successful at the Major League level”, he was obviously talking about Herrera — who also pitched in 36 games for Cincinnati, with less success, in 2010. Prior to joining the Reds, Herrera pitched in the Texas Rangers’ organization — and would you believe he was one of the two players traded for Josh Hamilton? That’s something to tell his grandkids some day.

Personally, I’m excited about Herrera joining the Mets bullpen, and anxious to see his first appearance. The fact he’s working on a knuckleball is of huge interest to me, considering that he will have the opportunity to discuss the pitch with R.A. Dickey for at least a month; who knows where that might lead? Call me crazy, but I’m seeing Dickey be to Herrera as Hoyt Wilhelm was to Wilbur Wood (not sure what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, we’ll get into it another day).

If nothing else, Danny Herrera is already shaping up to be the next Flushing fan favorite. Alderson, I’m sure, is hoping he’ll be the inexpensive replacement for Tim Byrdak in 2012.

What do you think? Are you interested in seeing Herrera take the mound?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Timo September 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    Alderson, I’m sure, is hoping he’ll be the inexpensive replacement for Tim Byrdak in 2012.
    If this is the case, why didn’t Sandy Trade Tim this year when he had value?
    I’m hoping these guys are decent but not expecting anything. I truly think the K-Rod deal was a pure salary dump.
  2. Steve S. September 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm
    Byrdak “expensive” in 2012? What will he cost—$1.5 million or so?!
    • HobieLandrith September 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm
      Didn’t you hear? Einhorn’s $200M will not be joining the Mets. Watch that payroll go below $90M next year (if not lower).
  3. Joe September 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm
    Heck, why not. Let’s see.

    K-Rod was a salary dump. Anything else is a bonus. If you got a serviceable reliever (and given some of the relievers on rosters now, that isn’t saying much) in the deal, not bad.

    If not, well, didn’t expect much. It’s like a toss in free gift or something. If you don’t like the gift, okay, it’s not the reason for the purchase in the first place.

  4. SiddFinch September 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm
    Decent lefty bullpen guys are always a plus. Wood was a reliable bullpen arm for Bucs in ’65 but for some reason he wasn’t needed in ’66. Pitched great in AAA that year. Went to Sox, learned from Wilhelm and became a fixture on Southside for next decade. If Herrera does develop the knuckler and performs even 1/2 as well, I’ll take it.
  5. Steve S. September 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    Herrera looked OK. Loved that slow screwball! He could be a decent arm in the pen next year.
  6. Matt O September 5, 2011 at 3:19 am
    D-ray is the man, if you ever get a chance to see who his first 3 major leagues batters were that he face and how he faired against them you will love the potential for repeated success. Besides his high school was the focus of a major motion picture!
    • argonbunnies September 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm
      Found it! Victorino, weak grounder, Howard K, Burrell K.
  7. argonbunnies September 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm
    I remember seeing Herrera with the Reds. Whether it was the height or not, something about him seemed to make hitters uncomfortable.

    I also remember him touching 95, though. So either he’s changed or my memory sucks. Is there another tiny releiver who throws hard?