Familiar faces in unexpected places

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

This morning, I was listening to the Reds' Catcus League game against the Royals on my iPhone as I was getting ready for work (thanks to the magic of MLB At Bat and time zones) when I learned of two new additions to the Reds outfield that I wasn't aware of:

Jeremy Hermida and Fred Lewis are fairly interesting pickups. Hermida received a non-roster invitation, but Lewis is apparently on the Reds' 40-man roster.

Hermida spent last season with Boston and Oakland, but as recently as 2009, his future was very bright. He was the Marlins' starting right fielder for four seasons, and was dogged by injuries last season before his release from the Red Sox. In only 52 games, he hit a paltry .205 with a .605 OPS, but he seemed to turn things around in September playing for the Athletics. The Reds aren't expecting Hermida to start, but rather hope he can be a left-handed bat off the bench, since the pickings are slim on the roster in that department, especially after Laynce Nix left in the off-season.

Of course, Hermida may be best known for hitting a grand slam in his first major-league at-bat. At the time, only one other person, the immortal Bill Duggleby, had done such a thing, and that was back in 1898. Now, two other people have repeated the feat, including Daniel Nava last season.

Lewis started the season on the disabled list with the Giants, but was quickly traded to the Blue Jays in the second week of the season as soon as he was reinstated. While Lewis was signed ostensibly because of his ability to lead off, unfortunately his on-base percentage is going in the wrong direction, decreasing each season. I hate to lump him in the same category as previous Dusty Baker fetishes Corey Patterson and Willy Tavares, because Lewis's numbers aren't that bad, but I don't think he should be an everyday player, and I'd hate to see him take at-bats away from Jonny Gomes in left field.

Lewis's fun fact? He's a cousin of former Twin, Met and Indian Matt Lawton. Now you know.

Comments (1)

    Yes! Gomes MUST start and get regular ABs again this year. After the first year I was guessing Dusty didn't like him or something.