At long last, the day of Jarren Duran’s major-league debut has arrived.
After Thursday’s game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues and a left-handed starter kept him on the bench on Friday, Duran will be starting in center field and batting sixth for the Red Sox in their contest against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.
Duran, 24, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking tops among outfielders in the organization.
The California native joined the Sox in the Bronx ahead of what was then their-four-game series against the Yankees earlier this week and was slated to bat seventh in the opener on Thursday, but multiple positive COVID-19 tests from within New York’s clubhouse resulted in the game getting postponed.
That postponement led to Yankees manager Aaron Boone switching things up with his starting rotation, as left-hander Jordan Montgomery was named Friday’s starter as opposed to the right-handed Domingo German.
The move to swap German for Montgomery, which is something Red Sox manager Alex Cora saw coming, led to Duran being left out of Friday’s starting lineup as Boston went with a more right-handed heavy lineup.
With a right-hander slated to start for New York on Friday, though, Duran is finally set to make his highly anticipated big-league debut. The only problem — if you want to call it a problem — is that that right-hander is none other than bona fide ace Gerrit Cole.
Prior to officially getting called up on Friday, Duran appeared in a total of 46 games for Triple-A Worcester this season. In those 48 games, the 6-foot-2, 202 pound left-handed hitter slashed .248/.351/.564 with 12 home runs and 23 RBI in 154 total plate appearances against right-handed pitchers.
While Duran, who turns 25 in September, will be making his first career major-league start, Kiké Hernández will slide over to shortstop in place of Xander Bogaerts, who is out of Saturday’s lineup because he is “dealing with a little bit of wrist soreness.”
Christian Arroyo, meanwhile, gets the start at second base, leaving Bobby Dalbec to round things out at first base.
Nathan Eovaldi will be making his 19th start of the season as the Red Sox (56-36) go for their third straight series victory over the Yankees (46-44) to improve to 8-0 on the year against their division rivals.
First pitch Saturday night is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.
(Picture of Jarren Duran: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)