Jarren Duran’s 2023 season has come to an end.
Speaking ahead of Boston’s home matchup against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night, Alex Cora announced that Duran will miss the remainder of the 2023 campaign due to a turf toe injury that requires surgery.
Cora added that the 26-year-old outfielder is expected to be cleared for spring training next February.
The speedy center fielder suffered a left toe sprain back on Aug. 20 while trying to climb the fence at Yankee Stadium in an attempt to steal a home run from New York infielder Gleyber Torres. He was initially moved to the 10-day IL last week, but additional scans and testing didn’t map out a realistic return in September.
“We’re calling it right now a bad turf toe,” Cora said, as transcribed by MassLive.com’s Sean McAdam. “When they get in there [surgically], we’ll see where we’re at with that. He’s going to lose the season and the expectations are that he’ll be back, ready to go for spring training. They have to go in there and take care of it, so we’ll have more details [Wednesday].
“It’s always tough when you lose a player. But it’s something that he’ll be OK. This happens throughout your career. The timing of it (isn’t optimal). But he had a good season. He did well for us. He’s a guy we’re counting on for the future. He’ll be OK and he’ll bounce back.”
Duran was one of the top surprises for the Red Sox this season, going from a potential fringe MLB player this spring to one of the more electrifying players in baseball as the summer progressed.
Called up in mid-April to replace an injured Adam Duvall, Duran entrenched himself on the Red Sox thanks to improved play both at the plate and in the field.
After batting just .221 with a .645 OPS over 58 games last season, Duran slashed .295/.346/.482 with an .828 OPS. He slugged eight home runs, drove in 40 runs, and also stole 24 bases over 102 games.
His speed on the basepaths routinely allowed him to turn seemingly harmless bloops and line-drive singles into extra-base hits, with his 34 doubles ranking fourth in the AL. Duran’s improved defense after multiple misadventures in the outfield last year also further encouraged Cora to hand him steady at-bats throughout the season.
“It was a really good year,” Cora said of Duran’s year, per McAdam. “At the end, the numbers are the numbers, right? And that’s how people evaluate players. The on-base percentage, the slugging percentage, the stolen bases, got a little better defensively. … He went through the ups and downs. He was hot, he struggled, then (he bounced back). He had a really good season.”
But with Durran now on the mend, the Red Sox will likely hand some of those at-bats to rookie center fielder Ceddanne Rafaela. Fellow rookie Wilyer Abreu will also earn some additional playing time, although he is currently on MLB’s paternity list.
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