Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Relief Pitcher – Kelvin Herrera
For the most part, those who pitch in middle relief or in the seventh inning toil in relative anonymity. That is particularly likely when a team has a dominant closer and a setup man who is the equal, if not better, than the closer in question.
Such has been the case for Kelvin Herrera. The Kansas City Royals seventh inning man has been a force in the bullpen, but given his place in the hierarchy, the only time he has been recognized was when he fired a fastball behind the head of Brett Lawrie. This is truly unfortunate, as Herrera is far more than that one incident.
During his time with the Royals, Herrera has performed at a level that would make him a likely closer on almost any other team. He has posted a 2.60 ERA, striking out 274 batters with only 94 walks in 284.1 innings of work. Herrera finally earned some recognition for his performance last season, as he made the All-Star team for the first time in his career.
Relief pitchers are starting to garner recognition for their performance, but there are still quite a few that toil in obscurity. Kelvin Herrera is beginning to be noticed outside of Kansas City for his contributions to the Royals.
Next: Where it all began