Kelvin Herrera

Kelvin Herrera

34-Year-Old PitcherP
 Free Agent  
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Kelvin Herrera in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Cubs in August of 2020. Released by the Cubs in August of 2020.
Hangs up cleats
PFree Agent  
February 26, 2021
Herrera announced his retirement on his personal Twitter page Friday.
ANALYSIS
The 31-year-old calls it quits after spending a decade in the big leagues. He'll finish with 61 saves and a 3.21 ERA in 513.2 innings of work for the Royals, Nationals and White Sox. He'll be remembered most for his time as part of the dominant trio of late-inning arms alongside Wade Davis and Greg Holland that carried the Royals to back-to-back pennants and a World Series title in the middle of the last decade. He posted a 1.26 ERA in 28.2 postseason innings during those two years.
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kelvin Herrera See More
The Z Files: Saving the Best for Last
January 20, 2022
Todd Zola examines recent draft trends when it comes to closers and weighs the pros and cons of spending an early pick on the likes of Emmanuel Clase.
The Z Files: Winning Tendencies, Part Four
May 16, 2020
Todd Zola continues his breakdown of last year's NFBC Main Event rosters and explains why he thinks Christian Yelich showed up on so few league-winning squads.
Mound Musings: A Look at Pitching in the AL Central
March 5, 2020
Brad Johnson does a deep dive into AL Central pitching, where in Cleveland, Mike Clevinger is no longer a sleeper, and his draft day price will reflect that.
Farm Futures: AL Central: 131 Prospects You Need To Know
February 13, 2020
James Anderson breaks down every fantasy-relevant prospect in the AL Central including Twins shortstop Royce Lewis, who salvaged a down season with a big showing in the AFL.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Herrera was drafted as the Alex Colome handcuff in 2019, and finished the year with one more save than you the reader had for the White Sox. He recovered his lost strikeout rate last year, but the walk rate jumped to a career-worst. Couple that with the continued problems with the home run, and it is easy to see how he finished the season with the ERA he did. Chicago is not that far off from being a contender in the division again, so they can ill-afford to give the closer role to someone with such a volatile skill set. The White Sox have better options in their bullpen now, but they are paying Herrera quite a bit of money, so maybe they will try to squeeze one last bit of juice out of him in his final year with the club. The skills certainly do not demand another chance, and he should stay safely away from your roster unless something major changes.
Herrera entered 2018 needing to show the Royals' brass he was healthy and effective, building up his trade value. Check, check and check as Herrera twirled a sparkling 1.05 ERA and 0.82 WHIP, fanning 22 in 25.2 innings while notching 14 saves through June 14. That was enough for the Nationals to deal for him. Herrera began in a setup role before stepping in at closer when Sean Doolittle broke his toe. Unfortunately, Herrera also hit the DL in early August with right shoulder tightness. After a two-week stay, he returned to throw a clean ninth inning Aug. 21. In his next appearance five days later, Herrera suffered a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot while running to cover first base, requiring season-ending surgery. Health provided, Herrera will likely battle Alex Colome for the closer role in spring training after signing a two-year, $18 million deal with the White Sox in free agency.
Entering 2017, Herrera was expected to be a reliable closer, based on a solid five-year run as one of the best setup men in the game. He recorded a 2.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 106 holds in that span, with 360 whiffs in 354.1 innings, closing 12 games in 2016. However, a big drop in strikeouts with an increase in walks and homers resulted in a subpar season, and he was ultimately stripped of ninth-inning duties down the stretch. That said, coming out of the break, Herrera seemed to turn it around, until he strained his forearm in mid-August. Even pitching hurt, Herrera surrendered only two of seven homers in the second half. Curiously, Herrera’s fastball velocity was normal, but he threw his slider four-to-five mph faster while adding two mph to his changeup, rendering both much less effective than previous seasons. The cost-conscious Royals will likely give Herrera another chance for saves, if only to build up his trade value. Invest with care.
For the fourth straight season, Herrera registered at least 20 holds, joining Tony Watson as the only relievers to accomplish the feat. Skills-wise, Herrera took his game to a new level, combining a return to a double-digit strikeout rate with a precipitous drop in walks. Integral to Herrera's improvement was throwing fewer fastballs, dropping from 75 percent heaters to 60, while introducing a plus slider to his arsenal. Herrera's fantasy owners got a bonus when the dominant righty assumed closing duties while Wade Davis was on the disabled list, converting all 10 of his save opportunities in that span. With Davis getting dealt to the reigning world champs in the offseason, the ninth inning will belong to Herrera going forward. He was useful even when he was not getting saves on a regular basis, and now he should be viewed as a top-10 closer, as he has the skills and has shown himself capable of handling the role.
Herrera has now posted two straight stellar seasons and is a major reason for the success of the Kansas City bullpen. He led the team in holds at 21 and struck out 64 batters in 69 innings, which led to the first All-Star selection of his career. Herrera throws in the upper-90s and complements it with a changeup in the upper-80s, which makes him very tough to hit. He will likely continue to fire bullets at the back end of the Kansas City bullpen in 2016.
Herrera was nearly untouchable in the second half of 2014, allowing just two earned runs after the All-Star break and failing to surrender a single home run on his way to posting a spectacular 1.41 ERA. A 3.50 xFIP suggests that his home ballpark and 85.5% strand rate may have partially contributed to that earned run average, however, and it's also worth noting his .274 BABIP represented a three-year low. The right-handed reliever relied more on his fastball than in any other of his major league seasons, and rightfully so, as he was able to blow by hitters and often hit triple-digits on the radar gun. Despite the improved ratio numbers, Herrera's strikeout rate dipped a bit last season, as he fanned nearly three less batters per nine innings than he did in his career-best 2013 campaign. He's once again in line to take on a seventh-inning role in front of Wade Davis and closer Greg Holland in 2015, which likely limits his fantasy value to leagues that count holds. However, if either Holland or Davis succumb to injury or a severe cold streak, Herrera would then be a solid candidate for an immediate add.
After an outstanding showing in 2012, Herrera was slated to bridge the gap between middle relief and closer Greg Holland and man the eighth inning. However, while his strikeout rate climbed to an impressive 30.2%, command issues haunted him regularly on the hill. His K/9 jumped from a 2.2 to 3.2 in 2013, he continuously fell behind in counts and often just served the ball up over the plate, which resulted in a disastrous 18 percent HR/FB. The Royals worked hard at trying to correct the issues, sending him down to the minors on more than one occasion, but ultimately deemed the problem more mental than mechanical. He enjoyed a fantastic month of August, but fell back into his struggles once again to close out the season. Herrera is just 24 years old and has far too much promise to put much stock into one bad season. Look for him to get back on track in 2014 and return to the level of dominance that made him one of the more feared relievers in 2012.
When Herrera raced through the Royals system, going from High-A to the majors in a single season back in 2011, the hope was that he would provide strong bullpen support in 2012, but expectations were still kept in check. After a strong spring, Herrera earned himself a permanent spot in the bullpen and went on to have a fantastic season, finishing up with a 2.35 ERA and 77 strikeouts over 84.1 innings. He posted a 3.7 K/BB, a 0.4 HR/9 and an extremely impressive 80.9 percent strand rate which was why he was Ned Yost's most trusted reliever and made a team-high 76 appearances. Herrera will likely remain in his setup role to open the 2013 season but with 98 mph heat and a very deceptive 87 mph changeup, do not be surprised if he is mentioned as a candidate for saves if the Royals need closer help at some point.
Herrera saw all that the Royals farm system had to offer in 2011, as he spent time at High-A Wilmington, Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, before eventually getting a cup of espresso in the majors. Pitching solely out of the bullpen, Herrera racked up 70 strikeouts and 15 walks with a 1.60 ERA over 67.2 innings in his minor league travels. Armed with a 96-mph fastball that he can command for strikes, Herrera was named the Pitcher of the Year in the Royals minor league system. Only 22, he's ready to help in the bullpen, possibly even at the back end of it in a setup role this season.
More Fantasy News
Cut loose by Cubs
PFree Agent  
August 26, 2020
Herrera was released by the Cubs on Wednesday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Lands minor-league deal with Cubs
PChicago Cubs  
August 6, 2020
Herrera signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs on Thursday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Cut loose
PFree Agent  
August 2, 2020
The White Sox requested waivers for Herrera on Sunday for the purpose of granting his unconditional release.
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DFA'd by White Sox
PChicago White Sox  
July 31, 2020
Herrera was designated for assignment by the White Sox on Friday.
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Expected member of bullpen
PChicago White Sox  
April 5, 2020
Herrera is expected to make the White Sox as a member of the bullpen, LaMond Pope of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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