Just two days after he was activated from the injured list, it appears as though Danny Santana could be headed back to the IL once again.
In the seventh inning of the Red Sox’ 7-4 win over the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Wednesday night, Santana — starting in left field — suffered a left groin injury while chasing after a line drive off the bat of Danny Jansen that saw him take a spill in the Sahlen Field outfield.
Replaced in left field by Alex Verdugo, Santana was later diagnosed with left groin tightness. His status as of now remains up on the air, though it certainly seems likely that he could be placed on the IL as soon as Thursday.
“It seems that way,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said about Santana. “We’ll see. It’s the left groin. He felt it. I was just talking to him. We’ll know more tomorrow but it doesn’t seem too promising.”
The 30-year-old utility man had just came off the injured list on Monday after missing nearly two weeks with a left quadriceps strain that he sustained in Anaheim on July 6.
Assuming Santana is placed on the injured list ahead of Thursday’s series opener against the Yankees at Fenway Park, Franchy Cordero seems like a suitable option to replace the switch-hitter on Boston’s major-league roster.
Not only is Marwin Gonzalez still on the IL recovering from a right hamstring strain, but Cordero was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of Triple-A Worcester’s 7-4 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Wednesday night.
Cordero, one of the five players the Red Sox acquired as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals in February, opened the 2021 season in Boston’s outfield, but got off to a miserable start in which he slashed .179/.228/.274 with just one home run and nine RBI over his first 34 games.
Those struggles led to the 26-year-old getting demoted to Worcester on May 27, and he got off to a torrid start with the WooSox by clubbing six homers, 10 doubles, and one triple, collecting 24 RBI, and scoring 22 runs while posting an OPS of 1.129 in 28 games between May 27 and June 30.
Since the calendar flipped to July, however, Cordero has cooled off significantly, as an 0-for-4 showing on Wednesday dropped his slash line on the month down to a chilly .224/.297/.328.
That being said, Cordero — who has appeared in 31 games at left field for the Red Sox this season — has been getting some work in at first base while at Worcester.
Including Wednesday’s contest against the IronPigs, the 6-foot-3, 232 pounder has made six appearances at first base for the WooSox and has yet to commit an error at that position.
Cordero, who turns 27 in September, originally signed with the San Diego Padres as a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic back in 2011.
As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, “he made 164 starts at shortstop and one start at third base during his minor-league career,” but has spent the entirety of his big-league career at left, center, and right field.
With that in mind, the Red Sox would be getting a more versatile version of Cordero, one who could platoon with Bobby Dalbec at first base (with Santana, Gonzalez, and Christian Arroyo all sidelined), while also playing some outfield when necessary.
That remains all speculation, however, as we will have to wait and see if the Red Sox do indeed call up Cordero from Worcester on Thursday if Santana requires another stint on the injured list.
(Picture of Danny Santana: Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)