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Frank Herrmann

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Frank Herrmann

Postby Booner » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:56 pm

I'm curious to know the Insiders' perspective on Frank Herrmann. He had rarely hit anyone's radar as being a "prospect", seemingly because he lacked secondary pitches. Then, at AAA in 2010, he seemed to be phenomenal, and then he did well after being called up to the Indians, especially if you back out one bad outing where he gave up 5 ER in 1+ innings.

What happened? Did he finally develop the secondary pitches that he needed? Did he finally figure out how to use his intellect to outsmart hitters? Was 2010 just a fluke? The postings here seem to question whether or not he will even make the final 25 roster, so why isn't this guy getting any love? There's got to be an inside story that I am missing.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby daingean » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:17 pm

I think players are either blessed or plagued by their pedigree. Frank was undrafted out of college and thus really had to prove himself at every level. Those who have been on this site for a while knew about Frank for a while. He certainly had his fans on here but didn't get alot of press because he projected as a reliever and he was undrafted.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby MadThinker88 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:41 pm

And the fans on this site can get enamored with the tools and stats of others (at this point).

Prior to the influx of arms in the last few years, Frank the Tank got a lot more love. Now, it almost seems he is lost in the shuffle.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:31 pm

Relievers just don't get a lot of love as prospects for various reasons.

Herrmann is a good, solid pitcher. I see him pitching a long time, though he will probably be up and down the ML and AAA ladder several times. Great guy, smart as hell....just the one problem is he doesn't have great stuff nor miss bats. He has to work extra hard to stay effective at the big league level. I think he will open the seaason in the bullpen, but he is going to be on the I-71 shuttle all year along with whoever makes that 7th spot (long man).
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby indianinkslinger » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:03 pm

TonyIPI wrote:Relievers just don't get a lot of love as prospects for various reasons.

Herrmann is a good, solid pitcher. I see him pitching a long time, though he will probably be up and down the ML and AAA ladder several times. Great guy, smart as hell....just the one problem is he doesn't have great stuff nor miss bats. He has to work extra hard to stay effective at the big league level. I think he will open the seaason in the bullpen, but he is going to be on the I-71 shuttle all year along with whoever makes that 7th spot (long man).

From what I hear he is a great guy in the clubhouse. I suspect that he and Laffey will share the long relief spot but I figure Laffey to open the season because of options. Herrmann can throw hard enough but he doesn't have much movement. The "sink" that works in AAA gets hit in the MLs and his other pitches are really fringe offerings with little "bite" or deception. If he keeps the ball located down in the zone, he doesn't get hit real hard but it doesn't look like he fits long term. :pleasantry:
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby homerawayfromhome » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:59 pm

I like Frank Hermann but the influx of young power arms hurts his chances to remain on the roster. Much like Jensen Lewis last yr he may have to go back and forth to AAA this yr.

After moving from the rotation Hermann picked up a little velo. too, this is fairly common.

Personally if I were him Id try to learn how to throw a knuckleball, look what its done for Tim Wakefields career.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:53 am

Herrmann got off to a great start after arriving at the beginning of June. In June and July he had 22 appearances and allowed no runs in 16 of them. The other six he only gave up one run and his ERA was 2.28 after his first two months in the bigs.

Then came August. From July 29 to Aug. 31 he gave up runs in 7 of his 11 appearances, including the beatdown against Baltimore where he gave up 5 earned runs in 1.2 innings.

In Sep/Oct he got back on track a bit, giving up 3 earned runs in 8 innings.

My question is whether he was effective the first two months because teams hadn't seen him, but once they got a "book" on him he was easier to hit.

Or did he just lose his edge for one month like Tony Sipp did in the middle of the season?

He sure dominated AAA giving up one earned run in 29 innings before being promoted to Cleveland. The question is whether he can make just a little bit more improvement which would make him a solid middle reliever, especially against right-handed hitters. He definitely has a power arm.

It looks to me like Herrmann, Jensen Lewis, Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith will be battling all year for three spots as middle relievers. Germano and Laffey will probably be competing for the long reliever job if Laffey doesn't win the 5th starter spot.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby danh8 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:30 am

Prosecutor wrote:

It looks to me like Herrmann, Jensen Lewis, Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith will be battling all year for three spots as middle relievers. Germano and Laffey will probably be competing for the long reliever job if Laffey doesn't win the 5th starter spot.


I was thinking Germano was gone, was my mind spewing out garbage again ? Is he still with us ?
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby homerawayfromhome » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:01 am

@ danh8 agreed, Laffey needs one role and to stick with it. He could be a servicable Lefty from the pen, I don't think he's much of a starting prospect any more myself but he does have value if he could log several innings whenever necessary.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Prosecutor » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:32 am

danh8 wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:

It looks to me like Herrmann, Jensen Lewis, Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith will be battling all year for three spots as middle relievers. Germano and Laffey will probably be competing for the long reliever job if Laffey doesn't win the 5th starter spot.


I was thinking Germano was gone, was my mind spewing out garbage again ? Is he still with us ?


I think I read he's off the 40-man roster but is in camp as a minor league invitee with a chance to make the team. Anybody know for sure?
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:53 am

Prosecutor wrote:
danh8 wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:

It looks to me like Herrmann, Jensen Lewis, Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith will be battling all year for three spots as middle relievers. Germano and Laffey will probably be competing for the long reliever job if Laffey doesn't win the 5th starter spot.


I was thinking Germano was gone, was my mind spewing out garbage again ? Is he still with us ?


I think I read he's off the 40-man roster but is in camp as a minor league invitee with a chance to make the team. Anybody know for sure?


Yes, he is in camp as an NRI. Competing for last spot in bullpen.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Prosecutor » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:48 pm

homerawayfromhome wrote:@ danh8 agreed, Laffey needs one role and to stick with it. He could be a servicable Lefty from the pen, I don't think he's much of a starting prospect any more myself but he does have value if he could log several innings whenever necessary.


Laffey started five games last year and he a respectable 3.60 ERA. He wasn't able to pitch deep into games, however, going only 25 innings in those five starts.

What concerns me is his BAA versus pitch count:

Pitches 1-15: 246
16-30: .282
31-45: .316
46-60: .379
61-75: 1.000 (2 for 2)

Clearly the more batters get to see of Laffey the easier he is to hit. After 30 pitches he's pretty much toast.

Also, the reason his BAA looks OK on his first 15 pitches is they probably tried to spot him in relief against hitters he matches up well against.

In 2009 he started 19 games in 25 total appearances and had a 4.44 ERA as a starter. Opposing batters hit .294 off him. The reason his ERA wasn't worse is because he keeps the ball in the park. Last year he only gave up one homer in 220 at-bats. As far as I can tell, that's the only thing he's really good at.

I can't see him as a starter or even a long relief man since he can't be counted on past 30 pitches. He's a soft-tossing lefty who pitches to contact and nibbles at the edges. The second time through the order he's on borrowed time. If anything he's a one inning guy, but we already have Raffie and Sipp for that role, so I don't see a spot for him.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Booner » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:19 pm

I'm guessing the signing of Chad Durbin hurts Herrmann's chances of starting the year in Cleveland?
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Prosecutor » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:03 am

Booner wrote:I'm guessing the signing of Chad Durbin hurts Herrmann's chances of starting the year in Cleveland?


Yeah, they both get right-handers out but get lit up by lefties. We already have Joe Smith, so I can't see carrying three right-handed pitchers who can't be trusted against left-handed batters. Especially since the Tribe will have five right-handed starters and opposing managers will load their lineups with left-handed hitters.

If anything the Tribe should carry three lefties in the pen because often we see lineups with seven left-handed hitters to start the game.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby ironmike » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:47 am

Herrmann is a strike thrower who can paint the corners. What does he need to be effective? Regular work. The kid is a bull dog. Reminds me a lot of Dan Spillner or a John Wettland. The more he pitches the more effective he can be. Check out how he did at Columbus being used regularly. Give him 70 appearances per year and he will put up the numbers. If he's used the right way, his best asset his is control. Can be an exceptional set up man.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby stoike » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:59 pm

ironmike wrote:Herrmann is a strike thrower who can paint the corners. What does he need to be effective? Regular work. The kid is a bull dog. Reminds me a lot of Dan Spillner or a John Wettland. The more he pitches the more effective he can be. Check out how he did at Columbus being used regularly. Give him 70 appearances per year and he will put up the numbers. If he's used the right way, his best asset his is control. Can be an exceptional set up man.


Those guys never hit 95-97 MPH regularly. Herrmann does. He is not a control, finesse guy..he just needs to improve his secondary pitches a bit more.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:13 am

Herrmann's splits:

Against right-handed hitters: .241/.629 OPS
Against lefties: .310/.920

Durbins' numbers are similar.

8 out of Herrmann's 9 walks were against left-handed hitters.

Herrmann faced the same number of lefties and righties last year, which is part of the problem since he doesn't handle lefties well. Because the Indians most likely will have five right-handed starters, opposing managers will stack the lineup with left-handed hitters, which means guys like Herrmann and Joe Smith and Durbin are going to have problems while Raffie Perez and Sipp might be overworked.

If the Indians were going to get another reliever they should have gone after a lefty. Maybe Laffey makes the team or maybe Hagadone makes it to the big league bullpen next year. Relief pitchers who can't get lefties out are of limited use to the Indians. They don't have CC and Cliff Lee starting anymore.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Herrmann's splits:

Against right-handed hitters: .241/.629 OPS
Against lefties: .310/.920

Durbins' numbers are similar.

8 out of Herrmann's 9 walks were against left-handed hitters.

Herrmann faced the same number of lefties and righties last year, which is part of the problem since he doesn't handle lefties well. Because the Indians most likely will have five right-handed starters, opposing managers will stack the lineup with left-handed hitters, which means guys like Herrmann and Joe Smith and Durbin are going to have problems while Raffie Perez and Sipp might be overworked.

If the Indians were going to get another reliever they should have gone after a lefty. Maybe Laffey makes the team or maybe Hagadone makes it to the big league bullpen next year. Relief pitchers who can't get lefties out are of limited use to the Indians. They don't have CC and Cliff Lee starting anymore.



I don't think the last bullpen spot should come down to lefty vs righty or how our rotation looks.

This is a developmental year....so why not let guys who struggle against lefties have more opportunities to try and work on getting lefties out? NOt saying throw a guy like Hermann at lefties all the time, but his value goes up if he learns to limit both lefties and righties.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby ironmike » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:19 pm

Lots of discussion about Frank Herrmann versus Durbin.

The guy in question might (should) be Joe Smith if stats versus LH hitters are the measuring stick. For his entire career Smith has had major difficulties getting LH hitters out.

Would not be surprised to see Smith moved back the the NL prior to the end of spring training. Smith was another guy overrated by our GM when we got him from the Mets. His stats against LH were poor even during his good years.

Manny Acta and Tim Belcher both like Herrmann. He needs regular work, has good stuff, throws strikes and is an intelligent kid. Liked him the first time I saw him pitching against Erie for Akron.
Last edited by ironmike on Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby daingean » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:24 pm

ironmike wrote:Lots of discussion about Frank Herrmann versus Durbin.

The guy in question might (should) be Joe Smith if stats versus LH hitters are the measuring stick. For his entire career Smith has had major difficulties getting LH hitters out.

Would not be surprised to see Smith moved back the the NL prior to the end of spring training. Smith was another guy overrated by our GM when we got him from the Mets. His stats against LH were poor even during his good years.

Manny Acta and Tim Belcher both like Herrmann. He needs more work, has good stuff, throws strikes and is an intelligent kid. Liked him the first time I saw him pitching against Erie for Akron.


I think Joe would be a good fit with the Phillies or Giants. Their starters will eat innings so they can afford a righty only pitcher in the BP. When we got Joe we hoped to be able to compete (2009) but we didn't. I think a buy like Joe is luxury that contending teams can use but maybe a luxury teams that don't have 3 or 4 200IP starters can really afford.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:37 pm

ironmike wrote:Lots of discussion about Frank Herrmann versus Durbin.

The guy in question might (should) be Joe Smith if stats versus LH hitters are the measuring stick. For his entire career Smith has had major difficulties getting LH hitters out.

Would not be surprised to see Smith moved back the the NL prior to the end of spring training. Smith was another guy overrated by our GM when we got him from the Mets. His stats against LH were poor even during his good years.

Manny Acta and Tim Belcher both like Herrmann. He needs regular work, has good stuff, throws strikes and is an intelligent kid. Liked him the first time I saw him pitching against Erie for Akron.


Not true on several levels. Mostly it wasn't just the GM. The draft scouting department loved him back when he was at Wright State. More than just the GM were high on him. And his lefties numbers were bad.....so? He did his job well in NY and if used right would do well in Cleveland too (has had some bad luck with health too here).
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby indianinkslinger » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:02 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
ironmike wrote:Lots of discussion about Frank Herrmann versus Durbin.

The guy in question might (should) be Joe Smith if stats versus LH hitters are the measuring stick. For his entire career Smith has had major difficulties getting LH hitters out.

Would not be surprised to see Smith moved back the the NL prior to the end of spring training. Smith was another guy overrated by our GM when we got him from the Mets. His stats against LH were poor even during his good years.

Manny Acta and Tim Belcher both like Herrmann. He needs regular work, has good stuff, throws strikes and is an intelligent kid. Liked him the first time I saw him pitching against Erie for Akron.


Not true on several levels. Mostly it wasn't just the GM. The draft scouting department loved him back when he was at Wright State. More than just the GM were high on him. And his lefties numbers were bad.....so? He did his job well in NY and if used right would do well in Cleveland too (has had some bad luck with health too here).

+1 Hermie. I am not sure iron has much of a handle on the two pitchers. They are the same age and Smith is a ML veteran with two quality pitches and a mediocre third pitch. Herrmann has one pitch and a mediocre second pitch and no third pitch at all. Smith has never had a statistical year in the MLs that was as bad as Herrmann's last year. Smith can strike batters out and Herrmann cannot. Injuries and command are Smith's problems. Herrmann's problem is he does not have the talent to be an above average RP in the majors. :s_thumbsup
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Prosecutor » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:16 am

I agree with the inkslinger. Smith is nails against right-handed hitters when he's on his game. Last year was somewhat of a spotty season for him but he still limited righties to a .160 BAA/.538 OPS.

I think he had some arm issues early in the season as his first half ERA was 5.17, but after the All-Star break his ERA was 2.96. If he's the same pitcher this year who finished last year he's way better than Frank Herrmann. And he's only 26 years old.

The downside is you don't want him to go anywhere near lefties, who lit him up for a .342/.979 last year. Opposing managers can get him out of the game by pinch-hitting a left-hander. However, Smith is the guy you need when there are Tigers on base in a close game and Miguel Cabrera is due up. Or Konerko for the White Sox. Or Youkalis for Boston, etc.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby GeronimoSon » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:38 am

Match up bullpen options are a luxury. No one can doubt that.. In order to complete a roster, especially a young roster, it might be a luxury that is far too expensive... but it sure would be nice to have those bullets in your holster...

IMHO, if the decision comes down to Joe Smith versus Frank Soup'Herrmann for one of the remaining bullpen spots.. it would be Joe Smith, hands down. Herrmann still has some upside w/r to developing his secondary offerings.. and in the minors is where that should take place. Herrmann has a ML arm & future with the club..
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby ironmike » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:59 pm

Not only does Smith have trouble with LH hitters his walk to K ratio is not very good. With all the good young arms we have coming Smith will soon be on the move.
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:30 pm

ironmike wrote:Not only does Smith have trouble with LH hitters his walk to K ratio is not very good. With all the good young arms we have coming Smith will soon be on the move.


In 2010 it wasn't...in 2009 it wasn't too bad though. If he can get back to that, he's our 2nd best reliever. Smith does need to cut down on his walks....though then again, 2010 was by far his worst year with walks....and it was still better than Sipp's 2009 and 2010 in that department.

There really isn't a pitcher in the Tribe bullpen that you can say he "doesn't needs to cut down on walks".
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Re: Frank Herrmann

Postby Prosecutor » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:13 am

With a 12-man staff you have the luxury of having a right- and left-hand specialist in the pen. I wouldn't underestimate the value of a guy who kills right-handed hitters to the tune of a .160 BAA. Many games come down to a single inning late in the game where the opponent has runners on base and their rainmaker due up.

If you want to beat the Twins you need a lefty in the pen who you can bring in to face Morneau and Mauer when you're up by a run in the 8th, knowing if you can get through the inning you've got Chris Perez against the bottom of their order in the 9th. Same for Cabrera with the Tigers, Konerko with the White Sox, A-Rod with the Yankees, and so on. Having a couple of specialists who can consistently beat the other team's top dog with the game on the line is worth at least ten more wins per season, in my opinion.
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