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Hermida on Sox’ move: ‘I was kind of surprised

08.15.10 at 7:03 am ET
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Speaking for the first time since being designated for assignment by the Red Sox on July 31, outfielder Jeremy Hermida said the move by the Sox caught him off guard, but he feels the recent time away from the game may have done him some good.

“I was kind of surprised,” said Hermida, who is 3-for-9 in two games since joining the Pawtucket Red Sox. “[The potential of leaving the organization] definitely crossed my mind. I’m not too familiar with the process, being the first time something like this has happened to me. In the back of my mind I was think I might be somewhere else. But things happen for a reason and I’m here for however long, doing the best I can.

“I took some time in those 10 days, I tried to use them to my advantage when I was home. Did some studying, learning about myself a little bit, going back and watching some stuff just trying to figure out how to come out of this run. I’ve tweaked a couple of things since then, tried to loosen some stuff up and get the timing back. The swing feels much better right now than it did coming back from the rib injury. That’s a positive that’s come out of it.”

Hermida, who had been in an 0-for-17 slump prior to being DFA’d by the Sox, thought that there might be a chance he was dealt after initially clearing waivers. According to a source familiar with the situation, Cincinnati showed interest in the 26-year-old prior to acquiring outfielder Jim Edmonds from Milwaukee.

At the conclusion of the 10-day period, Hermida could have refused the assignment to Pawtucket, but because he was approximately 30 days shy of five years of service time he would had to have forfeited his salary. Hermida signed a one-year, $3.345 million contract prior to the 2010 season, avoiding arbitration.

Still in the Red Sox organization (although no longer on the 40-man roster), Hermida feels confident he has unlocked the key to rediscovering the swing that had appeared as some crucial times for the Sox prior to the outfielder breaking his ribs in early June. A big part of the solution was reflection during his time away from the game, during which he spent working out by himself in the Fenway Park batting cage.

“I had a little bit of a  skid right before I got hurt so when you have a 100 or so at-bats  that tends to take a drastic turn on the average,” said Hermida, who was hitting .203 with five home runs for the Red Sox. “I was starting to feel better right before the injury happened, which was kind of a bummer at the time it happened because I was feeling better and the swing was coming back around. The timing of that and coming back, it felt off when I came back. I don’t know if I was changing some stuff because I was trying to make the ribs not hurt when I started swinging and once they felt better it kind of like, where is it? I can’t feel how used to swing. I just felt awkward since I came back. Even on the rehab games, I felt OK but I didn’t feel like I wanted to feel. I came back and wasn’t quite there.

“I was by myself in the cage down there. Just down there trying to remember certain things I was trying to do. Over the course of a season you sometimes forget those. I was trying to come back as soon as I could, especially because we had so many guys banged up. I felt urgency from it just trying to get back. I wanted to get back and contribute.”

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