OAKLAND, Calif. — Up until a few days ago, Team USA manager Mike Scioscia expected to have Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran batting second and playing center field in the Olympics this month.
But after discussions with the Red Sox, Duran was not selected when the team was revealed Friday.
“I think it just points to the fact of how well he’s doing,” Scioscia said. “General managers have been incredibly receptive to understanding what the experience is for a lot of their young players. But first and foremost they have to account for their own team and their own organization.
“I think that’s where we are with Jarren. He’s a guy that is taking leaps and bounds towards his goal of playing in the major leagues.”
Team USA starts workouts in North Carolina July 16 with the Olympics running through at least Aug. 4. The entire commitment could last a month.
The Red Sox were fine with Duran playing in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Florida last month. The caveat this time would have been retaining the right to call him up to the majors during his time away.
Team USA preferred not taking that risk.
“It speaks volumes to how well he’s playing [and] what the commitment would be to USA Baseball to leave for this amount of time,” Scioscia said. “Obviously the Red Sox feel he’s very, very high on their depth chart and rightfully so. They want to keep him around in case they need him there. We certainly understand it.”
Duran was involved in the discussions and understood the reasoning behind the decision. He has hit .278 with 15 home runs, 35 runs, and 31 RBIs for Triple A Worcester.
No call-up is imminent, a team source said. But the Sox feel Duran is an option if a need arises.
Team USA did select two Red Sox minor leaguers: Double A first baseman Triston Casas and Triple A utility player Jack Lopez. Red Sox minor league outfield and base-running coordinator Darren Fenster is the third base coach.
Casas was 6 for 15 with two doubles, two RBIs, and three runs scored for Team USA in the qualifying tournament last month in Florida. The 21-year-old made his Double A debut this season and has a .770 OPS for Portland over 36 games.
“Triston being 21 years old and hitting in the middle of our lineup was very impressive,” Scioscia said. “One thing about Triston I think we all saw were the adjustments he made.
“He hung in there against lefthanded pitching. He showed he could hit the ball to all fields. He drove the ball to left-center; he drove the ball to right field.
“Being only 21, his upside is tremendous. Hopefully this experience will give him another half-step forward to his goal of playing in the big leagues. In the tradition the Red Sox have, when you get the opportunity, you have to be ready for it. I feel like when Triston gets the opportunity, he’ll be ready.”
Lopez, 28, is a career minor leaguer the Sox signed over the winter. He has hit .348 with an .862 OPS for Portland and Worcester.
Team USA’s roster includes major league veterans Tyler Austin, Tim Federowicz, Todd Frazier, Anthony Gose, Edwin Jackson, Scott Kazmir, and David Robertson.
The United States opens play in Tokyo July 30 against Israel.
Full US baseball roster
Infielders: Nick Allen (Oakland Athletics AA), Eddy Alvarez (Miami Marlins AAA), Triston Casas (Boston Red Sox AA), Todd Frazier, Jamie Westbrook (Milwaukee Brewers AAA).
Outfielders: Tyler Austin (Yokohama DeNA Baybears), Eric Filia (Seattle Mariners AAA), Patrick Kivlehan (San Diego Padres AAA), Bubba Starling (Kansas City AAA)
Utility: Jack Lopez (Boston Red Sox AAA)
Catchers: Tim Federowicz (Los Angeles Dodgers AAA), Mark Kolozsvary (Cincinnati Reds AA)
Pitchers: Shane Baz (Tampa Bay Rays AAA), Anthony Carter (Saraperos de Saltillo), Brandon Dickson (St. Louis Cardinals AAA), Anthony Gose (Cleveland Indians AAA), Edwin Jackson, Scott Kazmir (San Francisco Giants AAA), Nick Martinez (Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks), Scott McGough (Tokyo Yakult Swallows), David Robertson, Joe Ryan (Tampa Bay Rays AAA), Ryder Ryan (Texas Rangers AAA), Simeon Woods-Richardson (Toronto Blue Jays AA).
Coaching staff: Mike Scioscia (manager), Roly de Armas (bullpen coach), Darren Fenster (third base coach), Dave Wallace (pitching coach), Jerry Weinstein (first base coach), Ernie Young (hitting coach)
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.