The 2011 Phillies Nation Player Reviews continue today, with David Herndon…
…And I think he just gave up another walk, followed by a home run, causing a profanity-laced meltdown in the infield. His mind is like Mr. Potato Head (or Señor Cara de Papa if you are speaking to Carlos Ruiz) when he gets into trouble, because, think about it–what happens when Mr. Potato Head loses a fight? That’s right, limbs and/or facial parts go flying into the air, much like David Herndon‘s thoughts when he loses a battle to a hitter or five.
However, he actually had a pretty good year. His 3.32 ERA was good for fourth among Phillies relievers with at least ten innings pitched, and, while it may have seemed that he was terrible all year, he actually had a higher WPA–Win Probability Added, or in other words a measure of what actually happened and how much a player helped or hurt his team–than three other pitchers with the same qualifiers. Granted, his WPA was still negative (-0.41), and those three players included one who is no longer a Phillie (J.C. Romero, -0.54), a rookie (Michael Schwimer, -0.57), and KYLE KENDRICK (-0.67).
One interesting thing about Herndon is his gaudy home run/fly ball ratio, which was 18.0% by the time the season was over. Quick, name a National League reliever (qualified) that gave up more home runs per fly ball. Trick question–the nest closest guy to Herndon was Matt Reynolds of the Rockies.
The thing about David Herndon is that he has the potential to be a very solid relief pitcher that could really help the Phils. His pitching style–sinker, sinker, sinker–could be verrry useful in a late inning situation when a double play is needed. He just hasn’t gotten to that point yet. I, however, have faith in the Herndog. If he pitches to his strengths, many Phillies fans would be singing a different tune.
GRADE: 6.0/10 and it would have been much lower if his ERA was higher. Don’t get me wrong though, as I stated before, I have faith in Herndon. But his 2011 season, while probably a little better than expected for most Phillies fans, was not what I had envisioned him being. Maybe next year.