For the first time this season, Franchy Cordero will bat leadoff for the Red Sox as they go up against the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
Boston has scored just one run over its last two games, both losses, so it would appear as though manager Alex Cora is shaking things up by having Cordero lead the charge offensively.
In addition to serving as the Sox’ leadoff hitter, Cordero will also start in right field on Wednesday. Since re-joining the big-league club in late April, the left-handed hitter has picked things up at the plate as of late. He is slashing a stout .314/.342/.600 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs, nine RBIs, eight runs scored, two walks, and 10 strikeouts over his last 12 games (38 plate appearances) dating back to May 20.
Cordero and the rest of Boston’s lineup will be opposed by rookie right-hander Hunter Greene to close out this quick two-game interleague series. Greene, the second overall pick in the 2017 draft, has posted a 5.89 ERA and 6.70 FIP with 56 strikeouts to 24 walks over nine starts (44 1/3 innings) since debuting for Cincinnati on April 10. He has also given up a league-leading 15 home runs.
Against right-handed pitching this season, Cordero is batting .246/.317/.406 with one homer and 10 RBIs. For his career, the 27-year-old owns a lifetime 1.126 OPS across 36 plate appearances when hitting first. He has not started a game as a leadoff hitter since he was a member of the Padres in 2018.
Regardless, the Red Sox find themselves in need of an offensive spark before they head out to the west coast for one of their longest road trips of the season. Cordero will look to provide that spark ahead of Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Alex Verdugo, Trevor Story, Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Bobby Dalbec.
On the other side of things, right-hander Garrett Whitlock will make his eighth start of the season for Boston opposite Greene. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)