Of all the moves the Red Sox made this offseason as part of Operation Run Prevention, the one that flew furthest under the radar was the signing of Jeremy Hermida as the fourth outfielder.
But barely over a week into the season, Hermida is proving the most valuable run-producer off Terry Francona’s bench.
Hermida made his fourth straight start and fifth straight appearance in yesterday’s 6-3 victory over the Twins in Minneapolis, and once again made a key contribution, breaking a close game open with a bases-clearing double in the eighth.
Hermida has now hit safely in all five games he’s appeared in, going 5-for-14 (.357) with three doubles, a homer and six RBI.
That Hermida is making an impact shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Hermida, who turned 26 in January, was the 11th overall pick by the Marlins in the 2002 amateur draft and averaged 16 homers over 450 at-bats per season the past three years.
Hermida made his Red Sox debut last Friday, after the slumping David Ortiz was ejected in Kansas City, and chipped in a single. In his first start last Saturday, Hermida homered off Zack Greinke.
When J.D. Drew was forced out of Sunday’s lineup with a stiff neck, Hermida hit a two-run double in a four-run first inning. And with Jacoby Ellsbury injuring his ribs late in Sunday’s game, Hermida was back in left Monday.