Elian Herrera stepped into the leadoff slot for the first time Wednesday, on a Dodgers team that boasts some of the most patient hitters in baseball.
Herrera, in his rookie season at age 27, admitted patience at the plate wasn't a virtue for him until last year, when he played for Les Agnes Cibaenas in the Dominican Winter League.
"I had to work on that," he said. "Before I just tried to swing as soon as I got to home plate. When I got to winter ball I learned how to be relaxed, looking for one pitch - the pitch I want."
Herrera won't be mistaken for Bobby Abreu or A.J. Ellis anytime soon, but he carried a plus-.375 on-base percentage (five walks and 13 hits in 49 plate appearances) into Wednesday's game.
No major-league hitter sees more pitches per plate appearance than Ellis (4.69 through Tuesday) and some have wondered why not move him - or the notoriously patient Abreu - higher in the order.
Well- 1 for 5 with 3 strikeouts isn't a great debut leading off, but hopefully he does better. BTW what do you guys think about maybe having Dee Gordon bat second, since he's a good bunter?