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Out in right field? Hermida

He finds a new home in Oakland

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / September 11, 2010

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The Red Sox thought Jeremy Hermida had a chance to become a significant contributor when they traded for him last November. Scouting and statistical analysis identified the 26-year-old former first-round pick as a player capable of more than he had shown in five seasons with the Marlins.

That may still be the case, but it didn’t happen with the Red Sox. Hermida hit .203 with a .257 on-base percentage and was released Aug. 31, a month after he was designated for assignment and sent to the minors.

Hermida signed with Oakland and started in right field last night in the Athletics’ 5-0 win over the Sox. He went 0 for 3 with a walk.

“It was definitely an awkward turn of events, to say the least. I just had to deal with it and move forward,’’ Hermida said.

Hermida hit .255 and had 13 RBIs in his first 20 games with the Sox, filling in well for injured left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. But a slump followed along with a six-week stint on the disabled list for fractured ribs.

When Hermida returned, he was 2 for 20 with nine strikeouts then dropped from the roster.

“I don’t make the decisions. Obviously I wasn’t doing too well when I came back from being hurt,’’ he said. “It was one of those things, that was the move they thought they needed to make. Who am I to second-guess them? Everything works out for a reason, that’s the one thing I told myself.’’

Oakland, which gets little offensive production from its outfield, was willing to take a low-risk chance on Hermida.

“This is a quality organization and a good opportunity to go out and get some at-bats for this year,’’ he said. “We sat back and looked at a couple of things. They were excited about me coming and I was excited about the opportunity.’’

Sox manager Terry Francona was among those who hoped for more from Hermida.

“At the beginning, when he got a chance, he had some huge RBIs for us,’’ Francona said. “He had a tough time when he came back . . . It wasn’t happening the last month. That doesn’t mean he won’t hit. Sometimes things happen, sometimes they don’t happen.’’

Hermida has no guarantees with Oakland beyond the end of this season and is at a bit of a crossroads.

“It’s a different year for me, switching cities, switching teams, switching organizations. It was a very good learning experience for me,’’ he said. “I really thoroughly enjoyed my time [in Boston]. I’m not just saying that to say it. I really did. It’s a quality group of guys.’’

The Red Sox gave up lefthanders Jose Alvarez and Hunter Jones to acquire Hermida.

Alvarez was 10-3 with a 3.58 earned run average for Single A Greensboro. Jones was released in June after the Marlins learned he needed elbow surgery.

Fox in the house
Matt Fox arrived yesterday, joining the Sox at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum at 4:30 p.m., after having been claimed from the Twins Thursday. There were a few familiar faces for the pitcher — at least players that he had faced over the last couple of years in the minors in Daniel Nava, Lars Anderson, and Josh Reddick.

The 27-year-old, who made his major league debut Sept. 3 for the Twins, will join the bullpen. He threw a bullpen session after arriving yesterday, and is expected to be available tomorrow.

“If you look at the report, kind of looks like [Scott] Atchison, which would be terrific,’’ Francona said. “But that’s kind of the description of his pitches.’’

Fox should be able to go multiple innings, having both started and relieved with the Twins and at Triple A Rochester this year.

After being designated for assignment, “I kept my hopes up and I couldn’t be happier,’’ said Fox, who went 6-9 with a 3.95 ERA with Rochester. “I think I can do whatever they ask. I haven’t thrown since [Sept. 3], but they said they’ll ease me into it. ’’

Tests negative
Rookie lefthander Felix Doubront has not appeared in a game since Aug. 31 because of pain in the front of his left shoulder near the top of his chest. He stayed in Boston and yesterday had a series of tests from Dr. Dean Donahue, a thoracic specialist.

According to Francona, all the results were negative.

“Just trying to eliminate anything and everything,’’ Francona said. “He actually felt better today and yesterday. But since we weren’t going to pitch him, we want to eliminate anything.’’

Francona said the Sox would send Doubront to another doctor to get another opinion. One of the specialists is a neurologist.

“We’re trying to take a conservative route,’’ Francona said. “But he is feeling better.’’

Francona termed the situation “confusing.’’

“He really wanted to pitch and he felt good enough to pitch. Then when he’d throw he felt good,’’ Francona said. “Then later on he’d feel a little stiff. We just want to make sure we nail it down.’’

Scutaro rested
Shortstop Marco Scutaro was given a scheduled day off. The Sox will give him extra days off over the final weeks of the season to manage the pain in his right shoulder. “It was easier for him to get another day to get back in the flow,’’ Francona said . . . Whatever slim chance there was that Ellsbury would play again this season has expired. He won’t even engage in any baseball-type workouts before the season ends. Francona said Ellsbury had an “aggressive’’ workout in a pool on Wednesday . . . Pawtucket manager Torey Lovullo has joined the team as an extra coach for the remainder of the season.

Amalie Benjamin of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

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