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The next reliever to get saves -- Kelvin Herrera

Wherein I learn about Kelvin Herrera later than most. If you're slow like me, dive in! He's good at throwing baseballs.


The challenge:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>I feel like people around baseball don't realize how good Kelvin Herrera can be. He's like the Salvador Perez of the bullpen.</p>&mdash; Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) <a href="">April 7, 2013</a></blockquote>

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All right, Rany Jazayerli, I'll take you on. I know you're a Royals guy. I listen to your podcast. I like Salvador Perez. I know the Royals have a good bullpen. Aaron Crow, Greg Holland, Tim Collins. They're good. I admittedly don't know much about Kelvin Herrera, but I can name and describe the other guys; surely it's okay that I don't know much about the Royals' fourth-ish-best reliever, yeah?

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Well I'll be damned.

Granted, not everyone can know everything about every player. But I'll cop to plain and simply having missed the Kelvin Herrera memo. But those are some downright decent numbers he has put up, at pretty much every level. About a strikeout per inning. A K:BB ratio of better than 4. ERA under 2. And his major league numbers are pretty much identical to that.

Danged if I don't think Rany is on to something here.

Now, I'm bandwagoning like crazy right now. Admittedly. Herrera got the save on Sunday when Holland struggled, and Matthew Berry has been championing Herrera's candidacy as a waiver-wire reliever for a few days now. With Holland not at his best to start the year, there have already been rumors about Herrera possibly sliding into the closer role, or at least getting more high-leverage innings. Holland's save Tuesday, while shaky, tells me it's still his role. So Herrera might not get you saves right away.

With the obvious caveat that we're a week into the season and we don't know a damn thing yet, a lot of closers are struggling. Carlos Marmol is out for the Cubs; Kyuji Fujikawa is in. John Axford is out for the Brewers; Jim Henderson is in. Mitchell Boggs exploded. I think there is still debris on the Gateway Arch. Closers are such a prized commodity in fantasy that waiting until a guy gets the role is the same as waiting until a guy is already on someone else's roster. I have Kenley Jansen, David Robertson, and Vinnie Pestano on one roster or another, just on the chance that they steal/fall into jobs.

Frankly, Herrera, with the rumors and the Berry-hype and all, might already be owned as well. But if he isn't, and you have been muddling through with a Marmol, an Axford, a Steve Cishek or J.J. Putz or what-have-you, Herrera is worth an add. He'll get you strikeouts and he's unlikely to hurt any ERAs or WHIPs. Even without saves, he's got some value.

And if Holland's struggles continue, saves, too!

There, Rany Jazayerli. Are you happy? Challenge accepted.

Follow me on Twitter @danieltkelley