Red Sox

Alex Cora offers updates on Jarren Duran’s future with Red Sox, Chris Sale’s recovery

Cora won't commit to a timetable for promoting Duran to the Red Sox but says Sale is "trending up."

Jarren Duran Red Sox
Jarren Duran runs to second base with a double during Spring Training. John Bazemore/AP
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Alex Cora has expressed caution at every point with talented Red Sox outfield prospect Jarren Duran and has yet to commit to a timetable for bringing him up to the big leagues.

But anyone who’s been watching Duran demolish Triple-A pitching knows how compelling a case he’s making to be on the Red Sox sooner rather than later. 

Through 72 at-bats with the Worcester Red Sox, the minor league outfielder has produced big numbers against Triple-A pitching, slashing .278/.366/.991 with seven home runs and 12 RBIs.

That strong start has seen Duran rocket up Baseball America‘s Top 100 rankings from No. 86 overall all the way up to No. 29 — just two spots behind fellow Red Sox prospect and Team USA teammate Triston Casas.

His speed, glove, and burgeoning power have Red Sox fans envisioning their leadoff man of the future — perhaps not too distantly, either. To be sure, the Red Sox could use a spark at the top of the order: their leadoff hitters this year are getting on base at just a .291 clip for an OPS of just .697.

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But Cora still won’t commit to Duran joining the big club as a mid-season call-up — or any other time this season.

“We know he’s a good player and we know that at one point in his future, he’s going to contribute at this level,” the manager told media on Monday. “There’s still a lot of things he still needs to get better at. But we love where he’s at right now. We love that he was able to play compete in a different level (for Team USA). That’s part of the developing process. The must-win stuff is important for players. That’s why I’m big on winter ball, too. He did that in winter ball. He did it now with Team USA. And now he’ll go back (to Worcester) and get back to business. He’s a guy we really like and we know he’s going to make an impact in the future.”

One player Cora is back with the Red Sox — though not yet fully reinstated? Starting pitcher Chris Sale, who will re-join the team as he continues his throwing program while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

Sale was spotted throwing at Fenway Park before Monday’s game against the Miami Marlins. Cora said Sale will be with the team during its current homestand and may resume traveling with the team as his rehab progresses.

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The All-Star pitcher threw off a mound for the first time a month ago and may face live hitters this week while at Fenway, revealed his manager.

“He’s in a great place,” Cora said of his hopeful ace. “The way things are going is trending up.”

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