Red Sox

Franchy Cordero working to transition to first base with Worcester Red Sox

Cordero is hitting .365 since he was sent to Worcester.

Franchy Cordero
Franchy Cordero has been hitting well in Worcester. Can he make the transition to first base? Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Franchy Cordero’s journey back to Major League Baseball could involve a position change to first base.

Cordero struggled with the Red Sox when he first arrived in the deal that sent out Andrew Benintendi. He batted .178/.228/.274 in 34 games before he was sent to Worcester with just one home run — a 474-foot blast that still ranks as the Red Sox’s longest this season. Still, just one homer was a disappointing number for a player known for power.

When Cordero arrived in Worcester, however, his numbers soared. In 34 games, Cordero is up to .365/.452/.619 — stats that suggest he could get a call back up to the Major Leagues soon.

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The power is still there too.

The only problem for Cordero is the Red Sox’s loaded outfield. So the Red Sox tried a new experiment on Wednesday in Worcester’s 5-2 loss to Lehigh Valley: Cordero started at first base.

Per reports, Cordero had been working toward starting at first for a while.

“It’s good trying to do something new,” Cordero told the Worcester Telegram’s Joe McDonald last week. “In the past, I played infield. It was a long time ago, but it’s good to be there again.”

Cordero told McDonald he played first base in Little League, but he also played infield in San Diego’s organization — he wasn’t completely unfamiliar with fielding.

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The results at first were encouraging in Cordero’s professional debut (even though he struggled at the plate).

Worcester hitting coach Rich Gedman told the Athletic having another place to play creates more opportunities for Cordero.

“At this level, we try to give guys options and help them find options,” Gedman said. “They’re all trying to find ways to get on the field and if we can help them then maybe you might find a guy that, gosh, ‘I didn’t even realize he was that athletic.’”

Gedman added that Cordero’s hitting improved due to a relaxed attitude, not to any adjustments.

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“He felt very confident coming in here, had a really good attitude when he came here and all he did was work,” Gedman told the Athletic. “He could have chosen to have a different attitude and he didn’t. He didn’t ‘woe is me,’ he came here to work and get his stuff right.”

Worcester’s game Thursday against the Iron Pigs was rained out, but Cordero was listed as the team’s starting first baseman. Getting him back to the majors, where — if his hitting continues — he could potentially split time with Bobby Dalbec at first.

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“[Versatility] is something we purposefully emphasize throughout the system,” senior vice president of baseball operations Ben Crockett told McDonald. “But particularly when you get to this level and you’re so close, so open as many doors as you can.

“He’s done a really nice job offensively down here, and defensively as well. We’re just trying to keep everyone versatile.”

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