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Hermida On Slump, Diminished Role

                The past two weeks have been difficult for outfielder Jeremy Hermida, whose hitting slump has nearly coincided with manager Fredi Gonzalez's decision to have Brett Carroll replace him in right -- at least most of the time -- against left-handed starters. Hermida said he understands that decision, but had also "approached" Gonzalez to clarify his role.

               ."It's just typical manager/player relationship," Hermida said. "I just want to make sure we're on the same page and we both know what's going on -- and I know what he's thinking and he knows what I'm thinking."

                Hermida said there is absolutely 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. I talked to him a little about it. It's tough when you struggle a little bit, and then have to sit a little bit. (I want to) do what's best for the team, and I'm all for that. It's not that I'm selfish or anything "

                 Hermida was 2 for his last 30 at the plate going into Tuesday. One of those hits was a squib single on Friday against the Rays. Meanwhile, Carroll has been starting in right most of the time (exception: the New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte) when the Marlins have faced a left-hander, something that has happened four times in the Marlins' past five games. Hermida was used as a designated hitter against left-handers on occasion during interleague play.

                Carroll has hit .333 against lefties compared to Hermida's .197 average.

                "We have run into a lot of lefties, and B.C. (Carroll) has been swinging the bat great, and I wasn't," Hermida said. "It's a good move to put B.C. in there. B.C.'s stepped in and done an unbelievable job for us. So you just go with it."

                With Hermida not hitting even right-handers, though, it raises the question as to whether the Marlins would consider playing Carroll full time. It's not like Carroll can't hit right-handers, and he is both an upgrade defensively and a better base runner than Hermida.

                Take a look at Carroll's minor-league splits from 2005:

              AB     H     2B     3B     HR     W     K        Avg.       OBP       SLG      OPS

vs. LH    398   114     23       4      11     41    76      .286        ..359       .447      .806

vs. RH  1052   266     74       7      56     59   274     ,253         .313        .496      .809

             Hermida was in the starting lineup Tuesday against Nationals right-hander Craig Stammen. But it should be interesting to see if Gonzalez sticks with the lefty-righty platoon if Hermida continues to slump. And don't be surprised to hear Hermida's name mentioned often in trade rumors before the July 31 deadline. Even if the Marlins see Carroll more as a back-up/platoon-type figure than an everyday player, they have Cameron Maybin knocking on the door. Maybin is tearing it up at Triple A New Orleans.

             Tonight's lineups:

             Nationals: 1. Cristian Guzman, ss; 2. Nick Johnson, 1b; 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3b; 4. Adam Dunn, lf; 5. Josh Willingham, rf; 6. Elijah Dukes, cf; 7. Alberto Gonzalez, 2b; 8. Wil Nieves, c; 9. Craig Stammen, rhp. 

             Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Emilio Bonifacio, 3b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 1b; 5. Jeremy Hermida, rf; 6. Dan Uggla, 2b; 7. Cody Ross, cf; 8. John Baker, c; 9. Sean West, lhp.