Spring Training Report: 3/13/2014
VERSATILE SERMO LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK FROM KNEE INJURY
Jose Sermo had high hopes entering the 2013 season. After a solid spring, the Brewers jumped Sermo over Helena and sent him to Class-A Wisconsin to begin the year. He played 35 games for the Timber Rattlers in the Midwest League before suffering a knee injury that would shut him down for more than two months.
“It was hard for me and my family” said Sermo, “because we were expecting to have a good season and end up in High-A in Florida. But sometimes things take a different way than you expected.”
Sermo is quick to credit the Brewers training staff with helping him to rehab the knee, to the point where he was able to get back on the field in August.
“It was hard, when I was in rehab” Sermo said. “Jeff Paxson, the trainer from Wisconsin, he was a good guy and he believed in me and he told me I was going to get through it, and I listened to him. So when I went back to Arizona I was working hard to try to get that knee back in shape.”
Sermo was able to get his knee healthy enough to the point where he got back on the field with the Brewers Arizona League team for the final 13 games of the season. In those 13 games he hit .372, going 16-for-43.
Since being drafted by the Brewers in 2012, Sermo has seen action all over the diamond. He’s played second base, shortstop, third base, and even served as a fill-in in the outfield.
That versatility is one of Sermo’s biggest assets and the 22-year-old Puerto Rican says it’s a key to staying in the lineup.
“It helps me a lot because someone that can play different positions will last longer” he said. “I’m okay with playing every position. I’m not picky. If they need me in the outfield, I’ll play outfield. If they need me at first, I’ll play first, or third, or second or whatever.”
This offseason, he said he’s been working a lot at third base as he prepares for the season ahead.
“I’ve been working on third base the most. Still have a lot of groundballs at shortstop and second base, turning double plays, but most of the time, I’m getting more ground balls at third. I tell my dad to hit me rapid fire and keep hitting it hard. Getting a lot of work at third because that’s where I played last year and I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ll play this year.”
Fully heeled up from his injury, Sermo is hoping for a big season, and once again has his sights set on seeing Brevard County at some point.
“I want to start off wherever they put me” he said, “and my goal is to make it to the High-A team, but if it doesn’t happen, I’ve got to work a little harder. I’m ready to go this year. Ready to do business.”
On the Major League side of things, the Brewers defeated the San Diego Padres 8-0 this afternoon. Milwaukee got 5 2/3 shutout innings from Marco Estrada and Scooter Gennett led the offense with a pair of doubles, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Infielder Pete Orr was the only minor league player to see action with the Brewers on Thursday. Orr entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning at second base.
The Brewers Minor League affiliates begin play on Friday when they square off against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Triple-A Nashville and Double-A Huntsville will travel to the Angels complex at Tempe Diablo Stadium, while the Brewers Class-A affiliates, Brevard County and Wisconsin, will host the Angels Single-A squads. All four teams will have 1:00 pm start times. In addition, some of Milwaukee’s rookie league players will host Bellevue Community College at Maryvale Baseball Park at noon.