The Cleveland Guardians came into the 2023 campaign with one of the league’s best bullpens. But over the first week of the season, Cleveland has showed off yet another impressive young arm in Tim Herrin. The 26-year-old has shined brightly over the Guardians’ first road trip of the year and could be poised to be another valuable arm in Cleveland’s pen. Let’s take a closer look at the rookie hurler.
A Look at Herrin
Left-hander Tim Herrin was a 29th-round pick by Cleveland back in the 2018 MLB Draft out of the University of Indiana. The 26-year-old, who is currently unranked in MLB.com’s top 30 Guardians prospect list, broke out last year between Akron (AA) and Columbus (AAA). Despite a 4.02 ERA across 69.1 IP, Herrin struck out 109 batters in the Minors last season. And after a couple of looks at the left-hander, it’s not hard to see how he was able to accumulate so many strikeouts.
The 26-year-old primarily makes use of a powerful mid-90s fastball and an impressive slider that has averaged out at 86 MPH. What’s impressive about the pitch is the command Herrin has of the pitch, and his ability to work it away from lefties. Here’s a closer look at the slider.
Those two weapons, along with good arm action have given Herrin an edge against Major League hitters in his career thus far.
Among MLB relievers, Herrin is currently tied with Ronel Blanco (Astros) and Ron Marinaccio (Yankees) for third-most strikeouts among relievers in the league entering play on April 4. Only Steven Wilson (Padres) and Tyler Alexander (Tigers) have more strikeouts in the league, as both sit at seven to start the year.
What it Means
Heading into the 2023 season, the Guardians already had a potent bullpen. The recently-extended right-hander Trevor Stephan, James Karinchak, and the AL Reliver of the Year from 2022 in Emmanuel Clase are arguably the best trio of late-inning relievers in the American League. Take into account the likes of Sam Hentges, Eli Morgan, and Enyel De Los Santos, and that’s quite the stingy bullpen.
If Herrin can continue to pair the slider well with his fastball, it’s going to be very difficult for hitters to do much off of him.