Entering the season, the depth of left-handers in the bullpen appeared to be a strength of the Milwaukee Brewers. Between Zach Braddock, Manny Parra, and Mitch Stetter, the Brewers appeared to be set for any amount of left-handers in opposing lineups. However, here we sit in late May and all three are on Milwaukee’s disabled list, leaving the bullpen without a single left-handed pitcher. To at least address the issue of depth and possibly earn some Major League playing time, the Brewers claimed lefty reliever Daniel Ray Herrera from the Reds on Monday.
Herrera is best known for his height, or lack thereof: the lefty stands at a potentially generous 5’6″. He’s been moderately effective in the Major Leagues, posting a 3.62 ERA despite a 4.00 FIP, but there just wasn’t room on the Reds for a reliever with as many question marks as a 5’6″ lefty. There are signs that he will produce for Milwaukee, particularly in a LOOGY role: he’s only allowed 48 of the 177 (27.1%) of the lefties he’s faced to reach base, and he’s only allowed eight extra base hits to left handed batters.
He simply hasn’t shown the ability to get righties out, as he’s allowed 20 extra base hits in 226 attempts and 97 total righties (42.9%) have reached base against him. This is likely the reason that the Reds deemed him expendable. Given the Brewers current lack of lefties, though, this move just makes sense. Milwaukee will be hoping that this move works as well as the last reliever they claimed from Cincinnati. That was Todd Coffey, who notched 1.0 WAR with the Brewers before moving on to Washington. With the minimal risk involved with a waiver claim and the clear potential gain, it’s impossible to dislike this move for Milwaukee.