Following up: Kelvin Herrera is as official as he is optimisticKelvin Herrera in 2012, the second of his 6½ seasons with the Royals. (Keith Allison / Flickr)

Following up: Kelvin Herrera is as official as he is optimistic

The White Sox officially welcomed Kelvin Herrera into the fold this afternoon, giving him a spot on the capacity 40-man roster by designating Ian Clarkin for assignment. The Cubs are on the clock.

The biggest question mark with Herrera — one that explains why he signed for just two years guaranteed with a vesting option for a third — is his health. His season ended with a torn Lisfranc ligament (corrected), but he also battled a rotator cuff impingement shortly after the trade as well.

His Twitter account showed a man on the mend, what with the videos showing him jogging and throwing. Herrera told reporters that he’s optimistic about his timeline:

“I feel good,” said Herrera, who is already cleared to play catch. “I feel strong enough to start spring training. We’re doing what they want me to do but that’s up to them. I’m just going to follow all the accommodations that the team is up to tell me. Right now I’m very optimistic that I’m going to start spring training with no restrictions.”

He also likes the track the White Sox are on, saying it reminds him of a Royals team that eventually figured it all out.

“I’ve been excited (by) the direction this team has taken,” Herrera said during a conference call on Tuesday, when the team announced his signing to a two-year, $18 million deal with a third-year option. “It resembles my time with Kansas City, when I was starting. We were in rebuilding mode and we were just trying to learn to play the right way, with intensity and giving 100 percent effort every time. I think it’s something that you can see in this team too.”

Herrera seems like a fairly jovial and enthusiastic fella. He’s already wearing the colors on his Twitter profile, to the chagrin of Royals fans who embraced him.

The White Sox will be happy to see his lighter side, since they’ve seen plenty of the competitive fire over the last seven years.

With Herrera and Nate Jones, the White Sox have the two Most AL Central relievers in an AL Central that’s a little short on such players, especially since the Indians have turned over their entire late-inning alignment over the last two seasons.

And the White Sox have certainly had their battles over the years. Herrera has made more appearances (62) and thrown more innings (69.2) against the White Sox than he has against any other team. It’s basically a full season’s worth of appearances, and it’s a season that fits within his range of performances: 5-5, 2.56 ERA, 52 strikeouts, 21 walks, five homers allowed.

Herrera’s had a couple of run-ins with the Sox over this time. He was suspended for two games for his role in the Royals-White Sox brawl in 2015, although unlike the other five players who served time for the melee, it wasn’t clear exactly what Herrera did, aside from having a previous offense by throwing at Brett Lawrie.

A year later, he had trouble retiring Todd Frazier, including a game-winning three-run homer at Kauffman Stadium that August.

A month later, Herrera tried to rattle Frazier with chin music, but Frazier shrugged it off and doubled to start another decisive rally.

Those beefs have to be water under the bridge by now, although there were more current White Sox on hand for it than I would’ve guessed. These are the kinds of situations that the unbalanced schedule fosters, and they’re also the kinds of run-ins that give Herrera his particular Most AL Central patina.

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Trooper Galactus
Member

Who do you think is next up to be cut from the 40-man to make room for Jay and (hopefully) Machado? I’m kind of surprised Vieira is still hanging on given he’s been pretty unimpressive even in Charlotte.

knoxfire30
Member

Has to be someone to drop before Vieira, the K rate was good at AAA although not much else went right. But a 100 loss team cant just give up on a 25 year old that can touch 100

Tilson or Cordell seem like the logical choices with the Jay signing.

Trooper Galactus
Member

Vieira wasn’t touching 100 in the last half of the season, I don’t think. And even with that triple digit heat he’s walking WAY too many batters.

NateDPT12
Member

There’s no such thing as a Lisfranc muscle. A Lisfranc injury is an injury to the joints between the tarsal bones and metatarsals in the foot.

Fun Fact: The Lisfranc Joint and Lisfranc injury is named after Jacques Lisfranc de Saint-Martin. A field surgeon in Napoleon’s army, he supposedly described an amputation technique of gangrenous feet at the aforementioned joints, and I’ve also read he first described the Lisfranc injury in French cavalry officers. 

yolmers gatorade
Member

I’m excited for the White Sox’s bullpen. It’ll probably end up something like:

Colome
Herrera
Jones
Fry
Bummer
Minaya
Hamilton
Frare

They aren’t as good as the old Royals bullpens, but those are 8 good options. They can definitely shorten games like those old Royals teams. Not having to run their weaker starters out there for a third or fourth time through the order is definitely going to help their numbers and confidence.

knoxfire30
Member

Its definitely the strongest group of the rebuild thus far. Plus more on the way.

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