The Atlanta Braves are going to be in the market for a veteran reliever. Could the former Royals closer be the right fit for the Braves?
The Atlanta Braves are pursuing veteran help for the bullpen this offseason in the trade market and free agent market. Could the closing experience of former Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals closer Kelvin Herrera be an asset to the Braves bullpen in 2019, and what would he cost if the Braves brought him in?
The Kansas City Royals signed Kelvin De Jesus Herrera out of the Dominican Republic in December of 2006. He pitched 2007 with the Royals Dominican Summer League team, with a sterling 0.84 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 15/50 BB/K ratio over 42 2/3 innings.
In 2008, Herrera continued to split time between the rotation and bullpen, pitching 63 2/3 innings with a 1.56 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and a 7/52 BB/K ratio between advanced rookie and low-A ball. He only made 9 starts in 2009 and 2010 combined due to injury, even though he had very good control when he was on the mound, with a 15/41 BB/K ratio over 46 1/3 innings.
The Royals moved Herrera to the bullpen in 2011, and he went from high-A to the majors in one season, tossing two major league innings. In the minors that season, he pitched in 45 games, tossing 67 2/3 innings, with a 1.60 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and a 15/70 BB/K ratio
He made the opening day bullpen in 2012, and he was a fixture in the team’s pen from that point, posting a 2.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 21/77 BB/K ratio over 76 games and 84 1/3 innings in his first full season.