BY STEVE KRAH
Travis Herrin has been a professional baseball pitcher since 2015 and the graduate of Lebanon (Ind.) High School (2013) and Wabash Valley College (2015) in Mount Carmel, Ill., has made steadiness his goal.
“I look for consistency,” says Herrin, 24. “It means learning to throw every five days (instead of every seven like in college). That extra two days is a pretty big deal.”
Inland Empire uses a “piggyback” system for its starting pitchers, meaning Herrin may start one time then come in right after the starter the next. Through June 30, he had made 12 appearances totaling 48 1/3 innings and was 3-2 with one save, a 4.84 earned run average, 45 strikeouts and 24 walks.
“You make sure you get down whatever you need to get done — the weight room, arm care,” says Herrin of each day at the ballpark.
What’s the difference between Advanced-A and lower levels (he has pitched in the rookie-level Pioneer and Arizona leagues and the Low-A Midwest League)?
“Competition,” says Herrin. “You get away with less and less as you move through the system.
“You have to have your stuff going from he first pitch.
Herrin throws a four-seam fastball with arm-side fade, a 12-to-6 curveball, a slider with side-to-side action and a change-up.
“The minor leagues is about development,” says Herrin, who works with people like Inland Empire pitching coach Michael Wuertz and Angels roving minor league instructors Matt Wise and Buddy Carlyle to get dialed in. They use video to study what he does in games and bullpen sessions.
“He’s a great guy,” says Herrin of Cosgray. “(Fournier) is unreal. He is close to 1,000 wins (for his career). Junior college is a character thing. You don’t get a whole lot of gear. It’s pretty competitive (in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference). There are a lot of guys moving on to (NCAA) D-I schools every year.”
Herrin grew up in Lebanon — a town located northwest of Indianapolis — and played at Lebanon Little League and with the IBA Storm coached by Cesar Barrientos (now an assistant at Wabash College) during his junior summer in high school. He later pitched for the Lebanon Merchants.
Selected in the 18th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Year Player Draft by the Angels, the 6-foot-3 hurler was with the Burlington (Iowa) Bees when he had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery June 19, 2017. He came back in August 2018 and appeared in seven games.
“It was a grind,” says Herrin of the recovery process. “I was doing something every single day to try to get ready.
“I had no doubts about getting ready. I know the organization likes me.”
Travis Herrin is a graduate of Lebanon (Ind.) High School and Wabash Valley College pitching in the Los Angeles Angels organization. (Inland Empire 66ers)
Travis Herrin pitches for the California League’s Inland Empire 66ers — aka California Burritos — in the Los Angeles Angels organization. (Franklin Gutierrez Photo)
Travis Herrin pitches for the California League’s Inland Empire 66ers — aka California Burritos — in the Los Angeles Angels organization. He is a graduate of Lebanon (Ind.) High School and Wabash Valley College. (Franklin Gutierrez Photo)