No matter what level a player is playing, versatility is a key part of baseball. Being flexible can help a player earn a roster spot or extend a career. With injuries and offensive struggles in Milwaukee, versatility has become even more important. The recent injuries to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Gomez bring a need for a player who can not only be a fourth outfielder, but an extra infielder too. While reports are that Rickie Weeks has refused to learn a new position, Ellian Herrera is becoming a player for the Brewers who can do it all. Although he had only played in 71 MLB games entering this season, Herrera is looking to earn his keep by playing all over the diamond.
When the Brewers selected Herrera off waivers he was placed in a battle for the final bench spot with infielder Jeff Bianchi. While he initially lost out and was sent back to AAA Nashville, he left an impression with his steady play during spring. Here he showed the Brewers his steady glove all around the diamond, committing only one error through spring.
This solid work helped to open the eyes of the organization and allowed him to be the next man up if injuries occurred. When Logan Schafer was placed on the disabled list early on in the season, Herrera quickly got the call. Although he struggled initially at the plate (striking out in three of his first four at-bats) he got on a roll at the end of his call-up before being sent down back down to Nashville.
Now with the recent injuries to the club, Herrera is back with the Brewers and looking to earn a permanent stay. He earned his second promotion by lighting up AAA pitching. After his demotion, he raised his minor league average to .359 by batting over .400 in his time back down. These strong numbers helped him quickly earn his way back to Milwaukee where he has continued to succeed and find a way to earn at-bats.
On a team filled with game changing players, Herrera is a perfect piece. While none of his numbers are nothing spectacular, he does everything well. Players are taught at a young age that versatility is a very important component in baseball. Although he is only .287 lifetime minor league hitter, Herrera can do everything on the baseball field. This component could help to extend him to a long and successful baseball career.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference