After being removed from Sunday’s game against the Twins due to left side soreness, Red Sox infield prospect Jeter Downs was evaluated by the team on Monday.
“He’s OK,” Sox manager Alex Cora said of Downs’ status following Monday afternoon’s 3-2 loss at the hands of the Rays. “We don’t feel it’s oblique-related. It was a bruise. So hopefully treatment tomorrow and be ready to play in two days.”
Downs, 22, landed hard on his left side after diving for a groundball in the bottom half of the seventh inning of Sunday’s contest against Minnesota at Hammond Stadium.
He was lifted at shortstop for Chad De La Guerra, and it now appears as though he won’t return to Grapefruit League action until Wednesday at the earliest.
The right-handed hitter — listed at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds — is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Sox’ farm system behind only Triston Casas.
Through his first 11 games of the spring, Downs is 4-for-9 at the plate with one home run, three RBI, and two walks. He was reassigned to minor-league camp on Friday.
Cora recently praised Downs for his ability to slow down what’s going on around him while on the field and at the plate.
“Just like I’ve been saying about Nick (Yorke) and (Connor) Wong, there’s something about them that the game doesn’t speed up on them,” the Sox skipper said. “He’s very calm. Sometimes, it looks like he’s too calm on the field. But that’s not bad.
“You can see the approach at the plate,” added Cora. “He makes great swing decisions. Defensively, he struggled (one) day but besides that, he has been solid and he has been good. He learned a lot last year working with (minor-league coach Bruce Crabbe) as far as defense, his set-up and his pre-pitch. He took all that into camp. I’m very happy with him. We just need him to keep working, keep getting stronger. I think that’s going to help him out. He’s a good, solid player.”
Downs, who turns 23 in July, is projected to start the 2021 minor-league season at the Red Sox’ alternate training site in Worcester.
(Picture of Jeter Downs: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)