Thursday July 22, 2010 | 01:53 AM

Outfielder Daniel Nava has been sent back to Pawtucket to make room for healed outfielder Jeremy Hermida. Also, lefty reliever Dustin Richardson was sent back to Pawtucket while lefty reliever Hideki Okajima remains on the roster.

Let's look at the numbers:

Before getting hurt, Hermida was batting .217 (30-for-138) with 5 HR and 27 RBI, and a .268 on-base percentage.

Nava: .286 (26-91) with 1 HR and 16 RBI, and a .381 on-base percentage.

It was inevitable that Hermida was coming back. Although his average has been shaky, he's been a solid, left-handed clutch hitter.

Nava, a switch-hitter who has been batting decidedly better as a lefty, had to go.

The Red Sox were not going to drop Darnell McDonald, a right-handed bat who also is out of options to go to the minors. If Boston takes him off the major league roster, it will likely lose him.

The other two utility outfielders, Bill Hall and Eric Patterson, can also play the infield.

Nava handled the move with class. See his comments in the Providence Journal blog.

As far as the relievers go, Okajima has a 5.72 ERA over 28 1/3 innings. Richardson's 2.57 ERA covers only seven innings.

Other numbers were similar: Okajima had a 1.897 WHiP (walks/hits per inning) and opponents hit .331 against him. Richardson: 1.86 WHiP and .321 opponents' batting average.

The best lefty option for Boston may be using Felix Doubront out of the pen.

The Red Sox head to Seattle for a four-game series. Fortunately for Boston, Felix Hernandez pitched Wednesday night so King Felix won't be facing the Sox.

Interesting match-up of former Sea Dogs teammates Jon Lester and David Pauley on Saturday. Pauley jumped into the rotation when Seattle traded Cliff Lee to Texas.

The Sea Dogs have won five straight and head back to Hadlock tonight. Casey Kelly shined on Wednesday. See the story.

I'll check back later from Hadlock.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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