Stockton Notes: Herrera Heating Up

The Stockton Ports used an 11-run inning to pound their rivals, the San Jose Giants. At the center of that attack once again was CF Javier Herrera, who has recovered from a slow start to his season. We take a look at Herrera and the rest of the Ports inside...

Herrera Back In Groove

After missing all of last season with a torn elbow ligament, Javier Herrera was understandably rusty to start the 2007 season. The five-tool outfielder struggled badly in April. For the month, he batted only .207 and he struck out 26 times in only 87 at-bats. He also failed to homer and was caught stealing six times in 14 attempts.

After a few off-days at the end of April and in early May to get his swing back, Herrera has been back to normal in May. Through Monday's game versus San Jose, Herrera was batting .321 with six homers and 21 RBI in 81 at-bats in May. He has cut his strike out rate down to 16 in 81 at-bats and has walked nine times. He has also stolen six bases in nine attempts and is reaching base at a .398 clip during the month.

Herrera has been especially hot over the past 10 games. He has hit safely in all but one of those games and is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak. Hererra has three homers, 12 RBI and has scored 11 runs during those 10 games. For the season, Herrera's OPS now sits at 778 after reaching as low as 492 on April 20.

Recker Hot Too

Anthony Recker just missed hitting for the cycle in the Ports 14-1 win on Monday, collecting a double, a triple and a homer in five at-bats. The Stockton catcher has been a steady force in the offense this season and is now hitting .299 for the year. Recker's .518 slugging percentage is one of the best among Cal League catchers and his 899 OPS is second on the team to Luke Appert's 998.

Recker has destroyed left-handed pitching this season. He is batting .346 with a 918 OPS in 26 at-bast versus southpaws. Recker has also hit well during the day, posting a .370 average in 27 at-bats. For the month of May, Recker is hitting .308 with three homers and 20 RBI. He also has 10 walks in 78 at-bats. He batted .288 in April.

Roster Changes

The Ports' roster saw some significant changes this week. A's reliever Justin Duchscherer joined the team on Monday for a one inning rehab assignment. He threw a scoreless inning with one strike out and could be activated as soon as Wednesday.

The Ports also welcomed back reliever Jason Ray from the disabled list. He had been out of action since April 17. Ray threw one inning on Monday, allowing one walk and striking out two.

Stockton also welcomed back Leonard Landeros. Landeros had been on the suspended list since the start of the season after testing positive for a substance of abuse. He worked a scoreless inning during his season debut on Monday, striking out two.

Michael Rogers, who was one of the Ports' top starters last season, has rejoined the team from Double-A Midland. Rogers had been working out of the Midland bullpen, for the most part, but he was put into the starting rotation in Stockton. He made his Ports' 2007 debut on Friday. He allowed one earned run (three total) in five innings of work.

Minor league free agent signeeBobby Cramer has been effective since joining the team on May 18. He struck out six in a 2.2 inning debut on May 18 and earned a win in a start on May 24 by allowing one earned run in six innings.

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