Red Sox outfielder Adam Duvall will not require surgery on his fractured left wrist, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) following Monday’s 1-0 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.
“Just a fracture, that’s it,” Cora said. “No surgery. Just put a cast on it and let it heal, and he’ll be back whenever he’s ready.”
Duvall was diagnosed with a distal radius fracture in his left wrist one day after injuring said wrist in the ninth inning of Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Tigers in Detroit. To lead off the bottom half of the frame, Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen got Spencer Torkelson to lift a 244-foot flyball to shallow center field. Duvall ran in and attempted to make a sliding catch to rob Torkelson of a base hit, but he instead landed awkwardly on his wrist and was immediately taken out of the game as a result.
After having X-rays taken at Comerica Park, Duvall flew back to Boston and was evaluated by a hand specialist on Monday. The Red Sox then received word that the 34-year-old would not need to go under the knife.
According to Browne, Duvall could be back in action within the next six to eight weeks since he avoided surgery. Had a surgical procedure been required, the former All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner could have been sidelined for eight to 10 weeks, if not longer.
“It’s great,” said Cora. “We don’t want to go that [surgery] route, of course. I’m glad that this is the worst news for him. He’s going to be back at some point. We just have to be patient, and whenever he’s ready, he’s ready.”
This is the second time within the last year that Duvall has seriously injured his left wrist. While with the Braves last July, he jammed it against the outfield wall at Truist Park and ultimately underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn tendon sheath. Fortunately, this latest injury happened on the other side of the same wrist and is unrelated to last year’s tear.
“It’s on the other side [of the wrist],” Cora said earlier Monday afternoon. “For everything I hear with the procedure he had last year, nothing [related] happened.”
Back in January, Duvall signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Red Sox to serve as the club’s everyday center fielder. The right-handed hitting slugger quickly made his impact felt by batting 455/.514/1.030 with five doubles, one triple, four home runs, 14 RBIs, 11 runs scored, three walks, and five strikeouts in his first eight games (37 plate appearances) with Boston. He earned American League Player of the Week honors for his efforts last Monday.
“It’s interesting because a few weeks ago, not too many people thought it was going to be a big blow. But obviously, the guy is a good player,” said Cora. “We knew when we signed him that he was going to be a good defender and that he was going to put a good at-bat. He worked so hard on a few things with [hitting coach Pete Fatse] to drive the ball to left field.
It’s a big blow but at the same time, somebody has to step up. It’s still early in the season,” he added. “We’ve got time to do our thing, keep playing good baseball like we did this past weekend. Somebody else has to step up. That’s the nature of the business.”
Because Duvall will be out of commission for a while, the Red Sox will need to temporarily fill the void he left behind in center field. To that effect, Cora indicated that Enrique Hernandez, Rob Refsnyder, and Raimel Tapia will all see more playing time in center moving forward.
Since Hernandez is slated to return to center, Christian Arroyo, Yu Chang, and Bobby Dalbec will all get more reps at shortstop. Dalbec, who was recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Monday to take Duvall’s spot on the roster, could also see some playing time in the outfield corners alongside Masataka Yoshida and Alex Verdugo.
All things considered, the Red Sox may have the depth to cover for him, but they will nonetheless be tested offensively while Duvall is out of the lineup. They found out that much on Monday night, as they were held to just three hits in a series-opening shutout loss to the unbeaten Rays.
(Picture of Adam Duvall: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)