Despite demotion, Herrera valued for his versatility

Despite demotion, Herrera valued for his versatility

LOS ANGELES -- Elian Herrera, one of the Dodgers' biggest surprises this season, is back with Triple-A Albuquerque for the start of the second half with Los Angeles needing to make room for a healthy Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

For multiple reasons -- including Herrera's options and an inability of finding him many opportunities -- the utility man was the odd man out with Friday's roster moves.

"I love what Elian can do, and I told him when we sent him out," manager Don Mattingly said. "The fact that he can play all over the field, there's a value for him and I think there is a value for him in the future here. You never know, it could be next week, but the way we are situated with the number of outfielders we have and Jerry [Hairston], I don't know where the at-bats were going to come."

Mattingly added Herrera is better off playing every day in Triple-A instead of sitting on the bench waiting for a rare start or pinch-hit opportunity.

Herrera was batting .305 as recently as June 17, but he limped into the break hitting 9-for-64.