Is David Herndon Becoming A Reliable Pitcher?BREAKING NEWS, MLB, National League, News, Phillies, Pitchers Saturday, June 25th, 2011
A rule 5 draft pick in 2010, David Herndon spent the entire season on the Phillies’ major league roster, but was primarily used in a mop-up role. He appeared in 47 games in his rookie year, and finished with a 1-3 record and an ERA of 4.30 in 52.1 innings. The team took some criticism for keeping a pitcher who couldn’t be trusted to pitch in big moments on the roster for the entire season, but the Phillies insisted that they liked the potential of the young reliever and held on to him.
Herndon impressed the Phillies enough in Spring Training to earn a spot in the bullpen to begin the season. However, he once again struggled when the season started. He finished the month of April with an ERA of 9.28 in 10.2 innings. The team decided to give him a break from the major leagues, and sent him down to Lehigh Valley to refine his game.
Herndon briefly returned to the team at the end of May. He appeared in three games, and gave the team five scoreless innings. He was then sent down again, but was called back up in early June.
Since returning to the major leagues, Herndon is beginning to enjoy success as a reliever. Herndon has pitched a total of 14.2 scoreless innings, and has dropped his ERA from 6.32 to 3.91. His most recent appearance was on Friday night, when he gave the Phillies 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to keep the game scoreless. He’s beginning to look as though he has a place in a major league bullpen, which would be great news for a bullpen that is still short on reliable arms.
The Phillies need another one of their relievers to step up and become a reliable option. To this point in the season, they’ve only been able to feel good about giving the ball to Ryan Madson, and young standouts Mike Stutes and Antonio Bastardo. Jose Contreras was part of the equation early in the season, but has had problems with his arm, and it isn’t clear if the Phillies will be able to count on him again this season.
The Phillies are in need of a reliable arm that can give them more than one inning of relief at a time; someone that can fill the role left by Chad Durbin. If Herndon can continue to pitch well, he could be the one to assume that role in the bullpen.
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