Jarren Duran’s first career major-league start will have to wait another day, as the outfielder has been left out of the Red Sox’ lineup for their series-opening contest against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
Duran, a left-handed hitter, will start out on the bench Friday with left-hander Jordan Montgomery getting the start for New York.
The 24-year-old top prospect was originally slated to bat seventh on Thursday night against Yankees right-hander Domingo German, but that game wound up getting postponed on account of COVID-19 issues from within New York’s clubhouse.
For whatever reason, the Yankees opted to swap out German in favor of Montgomery, leading Red Sox manager Alex Cora to go with a more right-handed heavy lineup to kick off what is now a three-game weekend series.
Prior to getting called up from Triple-A Worcester this week, Duran had appeared in 46 games for the WooSox.
Over the course of those 46 games, the former seventh-round draft pick actually hit better against lefties (.321/.400/.554 in 65 plate appearances) than he did against righties (.248/.351/.564 in 154 plate appearances).
Even with those splits in mind, Cora did say on Thursday that the Red Sox would try to get Duran more playing time against righties and only against a select number of southpaws.
“He’s very dynamic, a left-handed hitter. We’ll protect him, although his numbers in the minor leagues this year have been great against lefties,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) prior to Thursday’s postponement. “At the same time, there’s lefties and then there’s tough lefties. We’ll check the matchups and make sure we take care of him and protect him. Against righties, he’s a full-go.”
Montgomery, who will be making his 18th start of the year for the Yankees on Friday night, has held opposing left-handed hitters to a .175/.233/.350 line this year, so it would appear that he qualifies as one of those “tough lefties” Cora described.
While Duran will begin things on the bench on Friday, the dynamic outfielder could still make his major-league debut in this series opener.
As noted by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, though, the same thing happened with Andrew Benintendi when the former Red Sox outfielder made his big-league debut as a pinch-hitter against the Seattle Mariners back on August 2, 2016.
Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will line up behind left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez Friday night.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.
(Picture of Jarren Duran: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)