Hermida’s limited participation


The Herald reports that Jeremy Hermida is OK with his role here:

"Hermida said he understands that decision [to play Brett Carroll against left-handed pitching] but also said he approached Gonzalez to clarify his role.”It’s just typical manager/player relationship,” Hermida said, declining to go into details about their discussion. “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”Hermida said there is no rift.”My job isn’t to make the lineup,” Hermida said. “My job is to go out there and play when I’m in it and try to help this team win.”"

He’s right, his job isn’t to make the lineup. But he can’t help a whole lot when he isn’t in it, and as of late he hasn’t helped much when he was in it.

Hermida is at a crossroads this season. His bat has been average so far in the year, thanks to his improved walk rate and increased OBP, but he hasn’t hit anything with authority for quite some time now. Hermida’s isolated power has dropped to .132, the lowest since his injury-marred first season. As a corner outfielder, a position expected to be laden with power and poor defenders, Hermida has a meager .385 SLG and just 17 extra-base hits in almost 300 plate appearances.

But Hermida’s offensive struggles can be attributable to a variety of slumps. In June Hermida is posting an abysmal .301 wOBA off of a terrible .227/.326/.373 line. Still, looking at the isolated patience and power numbers and his walk rates, the values seem all the same, meaning that this is merely a fluke slump in which he is getting less singles. That’s of little importance despite the length of the slump; as long as Hermida continues to walk at the rate that he is walking, the Marlins can live with his slumps as long as he is spelled in the outfield during that time.

Where Hermida has really killed the Fish is in the actual outfield. As athletic as Hermida appears to be, he’s been a statue so far in the outfield, reaching Dunn-esque levels of ineptitude out there. In his first three season in the outfield, Hermida has posted numbers of -10.2, -1.3, and -9.3 runs compared to the average. This year, playing both left and right field, Hermida has gathered a total of 11.5 runs below average through half a season. Needless to say, costing the Marlins over a win on defense in half a season is reason enough to bench a man, in addition to his struggles at the plate. With Brett Carroll playing excellent outfield defense and swinging a decent bat in limited plate appearances, it seems fair to platoon these guys.

What may be more important is what comes after this for Hermida. I would not be surprised if this signaled the end of Hermida in a Marlins uniform, at least as a starter. With him going into a second year of arbitration, you can expect him to be dealt away for pennies on the dollar, despite the difficulty in selling a player who hasn’t shown he can hit or field particularly well (at least Mike Jacobs hit home runs, and someone was nice enough to give back a contributing baseball player in return for him). The Marlins will be hard pressed to find answers as to who can take away Hermida from them in off-season, but even with the improvements at the plate that he’s made over last year, he still is hurting the ballclub tremendously with his outfield play.