Daniel Nava Optioned, Jeremy Hermida Returns
After an impressive run with the Red Sox since making a splash in his first major league at bat on Jun 12th when he crushed the first pitch he saw in the bigs for a grand slam. Since that point, Nava never hit another home run, but played in 29 games for the Sox, hitting .286 with 16 rbis. Nava was optioned to the Pawtucket Red Sox to make room on the roster for Jeremy Hermida, who will be returning to action on Thursday after missing over 6 weeks of action with broken ribs. Hermida will work his way back into the starting lineup and will hopefully begin to stabilize the revolving-door outfield for the Sox.
This will certainly not be the last we hear from Daniel Nava, who is only is only 27 and has unlimited potential. He has a natural hitting ability and if he can reduce his tendency to strikeout (27 in 29 games in the majors), he could be a starting outfielder for years to come. He was one of the lucky young players who got the opportunity to taste the big leagues earlier than expected thanks to the plethora of injuries this year and that only helped him prove his maturity and talent.
On the other hand, bringing back the much more experienced, but younger Jeremy Hermida is big for the Sox. Before going on the DL after colliding with Adrian Beltre in left field, Hermida hit just .217 with 5 home runs and 27 rbis, but had a knack for coming up big in the clutch, which the Sox have been missing as of late. Hermida was just beginning to get hot before he got hurt, hitting .308 in June. Hermida’s .217 average is mis-leading, because with runners in scoring position, he hit .302 with 2 home runs and 23 rbis. Even more impressively, Hermida hit .667 in 6 at bats with the bases loaded, showing he remains calm when those situations present themselves.
More than likely, Hermida will play against right-handed pitchers and sit against lefties, because he has hit just .150 on the season in 20 at bats versus lefties and Darnell McDonald (as long as he is still with the club), has hit lefties at a .277 clip in 83 at bats. A platoon of those 2 for now would be the best option for the Sox, because it would also allow for match-ups late in games in pinch-hitting situations.
No matter how the Sox use Hermida, it is great to see some of the familiar faces and pieces of this team return. Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie returned Wednesday, Hermida on Thursday and Josh Beckett on Friday, returning hope to Red Sox Nation.