Mike Cameron Can Contribute Without Being in the Red Sox Lineup

Mike Cameron has played more than 1,800 games in his 15-year major league career, so a little rest during the season could go a long way toward keeping the veteran
productive.

"It just ain't easy. I would never go and say I need a day [off] or nothing like that, but one thing the last couple years is I've been getting more days off over the course of the season instead of waiting until I'm in a slump," Cameron told the Boston Herald. "After days off, go back and look at the numbers, I think I’ve been pretty good."

Cameron has remained consistently healthy throughout his career, and has played at least 116 games in 12 of the last 13 seasons. However, Cameron , 37, isn't getting any younger, and Boston's depth should allow the veteran outfielder to rest more this season than he has at any point in his career.

Cameron hit .417 last season in games after he was given a day off, and with Boston’s addition of Jeremy Hermida, the Red Sox face a minimal loss in production with the former Marlins outfielder in the lineup over Cameron.

Hermida enters his first season as a bench player, but Fredi Gonzalez, his former manager with the Marlins, feels he’ll have no trouble making the adjustment.

"Sometimes, guys do have a problem with that," Gonzalez told the Herald. "But he's a pretty level guy. He doesn't get too emotional. And he's a good worker. So he's just got to prepare himself like he's going to play every game, and I think he'll handle it just fine."

Hermida is following the example of former Florida teammates Wes Helms and Ross Gload, two of the most successful pinch hitters in the National League last season. Hermida hopes to contribute like those two, but he also is using spring training to perfect his role as the Red Sox’ fourth outfielder.

"I don't do well with just sitting around watching the game," Hermida said. "I'm sure I'll be in the cage moving around, doing whatever to keep myself loose. But I'm not sure yet how it’s going to work out. I really can't answer that now."

Hermida is hitting over .400 in Fort Myers with the Red Sox, and although he won't play every day, the Red Sox can insert Hermida into left field and move Jacoby Ellsbury to center on Cameron's off days.

In doing so, Cameron can rest yet still contribute to the Red Sox lineup. 

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