HOUSTON — Jarren Duran will be placed on the 10-day IL, a source confirmed Monday evening following the Red Sox’ 9-4 loss to the Astros in the first of a four-game set.
Outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu will take Duran’s place on the active roster. Abreu was hitting .274/.391/.538 with 22 homers for Triple-A Worcester before Monday.
Duran bruised his left toe during Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees after climbing the wall on a Gleyber Torres solo home run in the sixth inning.
Duran stayed in the contest but was seen hobbling off the field in the eighth inning on a ground out. He then walked down the tunnel with a member of the Sox staff following him.
“[Speed] is his game,” Cora said. “He’s a little bit sore. He’s day to day, but let’s see how he reacts to treatment, and then we’ll decide what we do.”Hopefully it’s not an IL thing. Hopefully it’s something that is a few days and he’ll be back. But because it’s his feet and that’s what he does, it’s a tricky one.”
Since he was recalled from Triple-A Worcester in April to replace the then-injured Adam Duvall, Duran has been the Sox’ most electric player, changing the game with his legs. Duran leads the team in doubles (34), using his speed to turn singles for others into doubles. He also leads the Sox in stolen bases by a large margin (24, 16 more than Masataka Yoshida).
“He’s sore,” said Cora. “You saw him in his last at-bat. He felt it right away. He thought he could play through it, but I think we were very smart taking him out of the game at that point.”
Duran was in the midst of an August funk prior to his injury, forcing Cora to drop him in the lineup and put Alex Verdugo back in the leadoff spot. Duran is hitting just .192 this month in 17 games. But Cora believes Duran, who registered a hit in each of the last two games against the Yankees, is getting back on track.
“He’s been better on the fastball,” said Cora. “He’s been able to shoot the ball to left-center. That first at-bat [Saturday] against [Gerrit] Cole, you saw him fouling off pitches, and staying on the pitches.
“That’s a good thing about him,” Cora continued. “I do believe that he can go through [bad stretches] and understand what he needs to do. Obviously he’s not gonna be hitting .500 at this level the whole season, but he understands what he needs to do and he’s been solid the last few games.”
Despite the recent downturn, Duran is still hitting .295/.346/.482 with eight homers and 40 RBIs.
If, indeed, Duran needs an IL stint, the Sox could call on outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu, who was hitting .274/.391/.538 with 22 homers for Triple-A Worcester.
Casas back in there
Triston Casas missed the final two contests of the Yankee series due to a tooth infection. However Casas was cleared to play after visiting with a specialist Monday in Houston, and went 1 for 4 with a walk in his return.
Casas is still dealing with some pain, Cora said. He had the tooth drained over the weekend in New York which brought down some of the swelling. Nonetheless, his face is still visibly swollen from the infected area.
With Casas back in the lineup, Justin Turner got a much-needed day off to rest his ailing feet. Turner has been dealing with a bone bruise in his right heel since Aug. 1.
The injury normally takes roughly around four-to-six weeks to fully heal, but given that the Sox are still in the midst of a playoff push, Turner decided to play through it. Cora, ideally, wanted to keep Turner as the full-time DH, but when Casas went down, the Sox were obligated to put Turner at first base for consecutive games, and one at DH.
Turner will be back in the lineup Tuesday. Tanner Houck (facial fracture) is set to be reinstated from the IL and start Tuesday against Justin Verlander.