Red Sox place Danny Santana on injured list with left groin strain, recall Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening up a four-game weekend series against the Yankees at Fenway Park on Thursday night, the Red Sox placed utility man Danny Santana on the 10-day injured list due to a left groin strain.

In a corresponding move, first baseman/outfielder Franchy Cordero will be recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Thursday evening.

Santana returns to the injured list just three days after coming off it on Monday following a near two-week absence that came as a result of a left quadriceps strain sustained in Anaheim earlier this month.

In just his second game back from that quad strain, Santana, who started in left field, strained his groin while chasing after a fly ball in the seventh inning of the Red Sox’ 7-4 win over the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Wednesday night. He was immediately removed from the game, replaced in left field by Alex Verdugo, and later diagnosed with a tight left groin.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora seemed pretty certain that the versatile 30-year-old wound wind up on the IL as a result of him straining his groin, and that is what ends up happening.

Through 33 games with Boston this season, the switch-hitting Santana is batting .171/.230/.324 with two doubles, one triple, four home runs, 13 RBI, 11 runs scored, three stolen bases, seven walks, and 27 strikeouts over 113 trips to the plate. He has also played first base, left field, and center field.

At the moment, it’s unclear if Santana will require more than the minimum 10 days on the injured list, though the Dominican native could be activated as soon as Sunday, August 1 if that is the case.

Cordero, meanwhile, returns to the Red Sox nearly two full months after he was demoted to Worcester in late May.

One of five players Boston acquired as part of the February trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals, Cordero got off to a miserable start with the Sox in which he posted a .179/.228/.274 slash line to go along with just one home run and nine RBI over 34 games.

At the time he was sent down on May 27, the 26-year-old was viewed strictly as an outfielder, but he has since added another dimension to his game by working out at first base with the WooSox.

Of the 44 games he has played in a WooSox uniform, Cordero has patrolled first base six times and has yet to commit an error at the new position.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Cordero originally signed with the San Diego Padres out of the Dominican Republic as a shortstop back in November 2011. 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 to this point in the outfield.

Offensively, Cordero got off to a torrid start upon getting optioned to Worcester, as he posted an impressive 1.129 OPS from the end of May through the end of June before running into a bit of a wall this month.

Following an 0-for-4 showing against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Wednesday, the left-handed hitter is now sporting a .224/.297/.328 slash line in the month of July.

That being said, in the absence of Santana, Marwin Gonzalez, and Christian Arroyo — all of whom are on the injured list, Cordero can provide the Red Sox with a boost from the left side of the plate.

Not only that, but the 6-foot-3, 232 pounder could also platoon with Bobby Dalbec at first base when he’s not playing the outfield.

Regardless of that, though, Cordero is not in the Sox’ starting lineup for Thursday’s series opener against the Yankees with left-hander Jordan Montgomery starting for New York.

Right-hander Tanner Houck will get the start for Boston opposite Montgomery.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Danny Santana likely to be placed on injured list after experiencing left groin tightness on Wednesday

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)

Red Sox place Christian Arroyo on injured list with hamstring strain, activate Danny Santana

Before opening up a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Monday, the Red Sox placed infielder Christian Arroyo on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain.

In a corresponding move, utility man Danny Santana was returned from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester and reinstated from the 10-day injured list, the team announced Monday evening.

Arroyo strained his left hamstring in the third inning of Sunday night’s 9-1 loss to the Yankees in the Bronx.

In what was his first career start at first base, Arroyo attempted to stretch out to catch Enrique Hernandez’s throw that would have completed an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, but wound up doing a split and was immediately gripping at his left hamstring upon landing on the ground.

After he was able to get back to his feet, a hobbled Arroyo was forced to exit the contest and was replaced at first base by Bobby Dalbec

“He just felt it when he stretched,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said following Sunday’s defeat. “It’s a hard one, right? He was ready, of course, to play first, but he stretches and that happens. It’s a tough one for us, but we’ll be bounce back.”

The 26-year-old will now head to the injured list for a third time this season already, as he previously missed time with a left hand contusion in May before missing more time in late June and early July with a right knee contusion.

Santana, meanwhile, is back with the Red Sox after he was placed on the 10-day injured list on July 9 because of a left quad strain he sustained in Anaheim on July 6.

While running out a groundball in the seventh inning of that 5-3 loss to the Angels, Santana came up limp, resulting in his removal from the game as well as him being put on the IL the following Friday.

The 30-year-old switch-hitter’s stint on the injured list was backdated to July 7, however, and he began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester over the weekend.

Appearing in just two games for the WooSox on account of inclement weather in the Worcester-area, Santana went 0-for-4 with two walks and a run scored at Polar Park before re-joining the big-league club in Buffalo on Monday.

Prior to going down with that quad strain earlier this month, Santana had made 12 appearances at first base with the Red Sox this season, 10 of which were starts.

The versatile veteran out of the Dominican Republic is only hitting .167/.231/.292 with Boston so far this year, but half of his 16 hits in a Red Sox uniform have come as a first baseman.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo forced to exit Sunday’s game against Yankees due to left hamstring strain: ‘It’s most likely an injured list thing,’ Alex Cora says

Christian Arroyo’s professional debut at first base was a short-lived one that, quite simply, did not go as planned.

Making his first-ever major-league start at first base for the Red Sox in Sunday’s contest against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Arroyo grounded out to first base in his first at-bat of the night in the top half of the third inning before suffering a painful looking left hamstring injury in the bottom half.

With one out and runners at the corners, Sox starter Martin Perez induced a sharply-hit groundball off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton that was fielded by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

After receiving the relay from Bogaerts, second baseman Kiké Hernández made a quick throw towards first base in an attempt to complete the potential inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Arroyo, who was presumably trying to record the second out of the twin killing at first before the runner at third — Greg Allen — crossed home plate, wound up stretching out with his left leg to the point where he landed on the ground while doing a split.

Stanton ended up beating the throw, but Arroyo was in clear discomfort as he gripped at his left hamstring while seated near the first base bag.

Upon getting back on his feet, a hobbled Arroyo was replaced at first base by Bobby Dalbec and was later diagnosed with a left hamstring strain.

The 26-year-old is likely headed for the injured list for a third time this season, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said following Sunday night’s 9-1 loss to the Yankees.

“It’s most likely an IL thing,” said Cora. “He just felt it when he stretched. It’s a hard one, right? He was ready, of course, to play first, but he stretches and that happens. It’s a tough one for us, but we’ll be bounce back.”

Danny Santana, who has been out of action since July 6 on the injured list with a left quad strain since July 9, is expected to join the Red Sox in Buffalo on Monday ahead of their series against the Blue Jays after completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester.

The switch-hitting Santana, who went 0-for-4 with two walks and a run scored in his most recent stint with the WooSox, has appeared in 12 games at first base for Boston so far this season, so the veteran utility man could be an option to fill in there while Arroyo is sidelined.

For Arroyo, this latest setback is just the latest reminder in how snake-bitten the infielder has been in his first full season with the Red Sox.

Finally able to establish himself as a legitimate everyday player, Arroyo is on the verge of hitting the IL for a third time in 2021 after previously missing time with a left hand and right knee contusion.

Since most-recently being activated off the injured list on July 5, the former first-round pick posted a .310/.355/.621 slash line with two home runs, four runs scored, and six RBI over his last eight games coming into play on Sunday.

That stretch of success was happening concurrently with the Red Sox calling up top outfield prospect Jarren Duran from Worcester, which resulted in Hernández shifting from center field to second base — the position Arroyo had played so well at.

In search to get Arroyo consistent playing time after promoting Duran, the Sox opted to try the right-handed hitter out at first base, with Cora even saying that “he deserves to play” with the way he has been swinging the bat as of late.

So, how frustrating is it when a player such as Arroyo, who has proven to be a key contributor when healthy, suffers an injury when he is seemingly on the verge of going on a tear?

“It’s frustrating, right?” said Cora. “Because, it seems like he’s in a groove, he’s swinging the bat well, and then this happens. We don’t like our guys to get hurt. This is one of the things, too, that — and [head athletic trainer Brad Pearson] always talks about it — it’s not only in his case. When you don’t play that much and all the sudden you start playing a lot, and you start getting on base at a high rate, and you’re running the bases more than usual, stuff like this happens.

“And we try to avoid it,” Cora added. “We put them in running programs when they’re not playing everyday just to avoid stuff like this. But, it’s too bad that it happens. And we’ll keep working, we’ll keep trying to improve, because that’s something that actually makes a lot of sense. You go from not playing to all the sudden playing 10 days in a row or eight out of 10, and your body’s not used to it.

“I’m not saying this is the case for Christian, but, overall, that’s one of the things that we’ve been studying and talking about. And we’ll try to get it right, I guess, that’s what I’m trying to say. So, we’ll keep working like I said and keep getting better.”

If Arroyo were to be placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday, the soonest he could be activated would be next Thursday, July 29.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Kevin Plawecki activated from injured list, Connor Wong optioned to Triple-A Worcester; Danny Santana placed on IL, Michael Chavis recalled

Before opening up a three-game series against the Phillies at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, backup catcher Kevin Plawecki was activated from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, catching prospect Connor Wong was optioned to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s game against the Angels.

Secondly, utility man Danny Santana was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left quad strain. Santana’s stint on the IL was backdated to July 7. To fill Santana’s spot on the active roster, infielder/outfielder Michael Chavis was called up from Triple-A Worcester.

The Red Sox made all these transactions official earlier Friday afternoon.

Plawecki returns from the injured list after missing nearly three weeks of action on account of a left hamstring strain he sustained while chasing down an errant throw in Kansas City on June 20.

The 30-year-old backstop did not require a rehab assignment after traveling and working out with the team during their six-game West Coast road trip. He will be available off the bench if needed on Friday with Christian Vazquez getting the start behind the plate.

Coming into play on Friday, Plawecki has hit .254/.319/.349 with one home run, three doubles, three RBI, seven runs scored, five walks, and 12 strikeouts over 26 games (70 plate appearances) so far this season.

Wong, meanwhile, heads back down to Worcester after a rather successful first major-league stint with the Red Sox.

One of three players acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts/David Price trade, Wong was called up from Triple-A on June 22 and went 3-for-11 (.273) at the plate with one double, two runs scored, zero walks, and seven strikeouts across four games.

The 25-year-old, who is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 2 catching prospect in Boston’s farm system, made his major-league debut as a pinch-runner against the Rays on June 22 and wound up scoring the winning run in a 9-5 victory. He then caught Nathan Eovaldi on three separate occasions on June 26, July 1, and July 6, and drew praise from both the right-hander and Sox manager Alex Cora while doing so.

As he makes his return to the WooSox, Wong will take what he learned in Boston and look to apply that to his game while getting more consistent playing time.

Through 16 games (64 plate appearances) with the WooSox this season, the Houston-area native is slashing just .148/.188/.246, though he did miss some time due to a hamstring injury of his own.

Turning to the next roster move now, veteran utility man Danny Santana was placed on the 10-day injured list because of a left quad strain suffered in Anaheim earlier this week.

Santana sustained the injury late in Tuesday’s loss to the Angels, and while he was available in an emergency on Wednesday, he ultimately lands on the IL because of it.

The speedy 30-year-old attempted to beat out a throw to first base while running out a ground ball hit to second in the seventh inning on Tuesday, but came up limp after the out was recorded.

While Red Sox manager Alex Cora had been cautiously optimistic that Santana might be able to avoid a trip to the injured list, he was also aware that the switch-hitter had a history when it cane to issues pertaining to his left quad.

That being the case because Santana missed a significant portion of the 2017 season with the Braves due to a left quadriceps strain that ultimately required a stay on the 60-day IL.

“With him, obviously, speed is part of his game, and moving in the outfield and all that,” Cora said Tuesday night. “So we’re going to be very careful. He has past history with that.”

With Santana’s stint on the injured list being backdated to July 7, the soonest the versatile Dominican can be activated is July 17, though it remains to be seen if he will require more than the minimum 10 days.

As for Michael Chavis, the 25-year-old is back with the Red Sox for a fifth time this season after being optioned to Worcester on July 5.

Chavis did not appear in a game for the WooSox in the four days he was there, but he is slashing .207/.230/.328 to go along with one homer, four RBI, one walk, and 22 strikeouts across 20 games (61 plate appearances) with the Red Sox so far this year while seeing time at both first and second base.

He, like Kevin Plawecki, will be available off the bench for Cora in Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. First pitch of that game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

Also, Marwin Gonzalez, who dealt with tightness in his right hamstring earlier this week, appears to be a full-go now that he faces no restrictions, per Cora.

(Picture of Kevin Plawecki: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Danny Santana removed from Tuesday’s game against Angels due to left quad injury: ‘We’re going to be very careful,’ Alex Cora says

Red Sox utility man Danny Santana was forced to exit Tuesday night’s game against the Angels in the seventh inning due to a left quad injury, manager Alex Cora said.

Santana, who started at first base for Boston in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Los Angeles, sustained the injury while running out a ground ball he hit to second base off Angels starter Shohei Ohtani.

In the process of trying to beat the throw to first, however, Santana came up limp, resulting in Bobby Dalbec taking over for him at first base.

When asked about how the veteran utility man was holding up during his postgame media availability, Cora hinted that a stint on the injured list could be possible.

“It’s his left quad, you saw him limping towards the end,” Cora said over Zoom. “Hopefully, he slowed down enough that it wasn’t that bad. Obviously, he’s getting treatment. It will come back tomorrow and see how he feels.”

Santana, who came into play Tuesday hitting .286 (8-for-28)/.310/.429 over his last seven games, is known for his speed, as evidenced by his 74 career stolen bases at the major-league level.

The 30-year-old switch-hitter also has a history when it comes to issues pertaining to his left quad, as he missed a significant portion of the 2017 season with the Braves due to a left quadriceps strain that ultimately required a stay on the 60-day IL.

“With him, obviously, speed is part of his game, and moving in the outfield and all that,” said Cora. “So we’re going to be very careful. He has past history with that. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow and we’ll decide what we do.”

Santana being removed from Tuesday’s game because of injury comes one day after fellow utility man Marwin Gonzalez was forced to leave Monday’s contest at Angel Stadium on account of right hamstring tightness.

Cora had been hopeful that Gonzalez would be ready to return to action for Wednesday’s series finale against the Angels, but the possibility that he is not would put the Sox in a tough position with a short bench.

Calling up someone — like Michael Chavis or Franchy Cordero, for instance –from Triple-A Worcester would be a feasible option in this scenario were it not for the fact that the WooSox are currently taking on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa., which is approximately 2,690 miles Northeast of Anaheim.

“That’s what we were talking about,” Cora said. “There’s not too many bodies around here, and I don’t think they’re going to make it on time if we have to bring in somebody from outside.”

Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, who has been on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain since June 22, has been traveling and working out with the team during this West Coast road trip.

With that in mind, the 30-year-old backstop could be activated off the IL before Wednesday’s game in the event that Boston would need a fresh body available off the bench in place of Santana and/or Gonzalez.

“Kevin is probably available,” said Cora. “If that’s the case, maybe. He ran the bases today, he’s been hitting. Tomorrow, he was going to have a heavy load of workouts behind the plate, throwing the bases and all that. If that goes well and we have to make a move, most likely it’s going to be Kevin. To have a body with Connor (Wong), who we can move around and Christian (Arroyo), too. So we feel comfortable if that’s the case.”

The Red Sox close out their three-game series against the Angels on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Danny Santana: Theoron W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers, Danny Santana collect 5 RBI each as Red Sox crush Royals, 15-1, to finish off sweep and perfect homestand

Even on short rest, the Red Sox opened up the second half of their season by crushing the Royals, 15-1, at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon to finish off a four-game sweep of Kansas City while also wrapping up a perfect 7-0 homestand.

With the win, Boston improves to 20 games over .500 for the first time this season at 51-31. They also increase their lead over the Rays, who were idle on Thursday, for first place in the American League East to 3 1/2 games.

Kiké Hernández got the scoring started for the Sox right away, as he led things off against Royals starter Kris Bubic by clubbing his third leadoff home run in the last five days in the first inning.

J.D. Martinez followed suit in the fourth, as he led the inning off with another solo shot — his 17th homer of the season — to give Boston a 2-0 lead.

A two-out walk drawn by Hunter Renfroe and two-out single from Marwin Gonzalez brought Danny Santana to the plate with the chance to do some damage, and the switch-hitter did just that by mashing an opposite field three-run blast into the Red Sox bullpen. Santana’s first big fly since late May put his side up by five runs.

The Boston offense put up another four-spot in their half of the fifth against Royals reliever Ervin Santana, with Alex Verdugo, Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts loading the bases with one out, and Rafael Devers plating a pair on a two-run single to center field.

The bases were re-loaded when Gonzalez was issued another free pass, and Santana came through in that spot by placing a softly-hit, 108-foot RBI single to second base that came as a result of the Kansas City infield playing in a shift.

A balk with Connor Wong at the plate brought in another run, and the Red Sox found themselves in possession of a 9-0 lead.

Devers tacked on three more runs on one swing of the bat in the sixth. With two outs and runners on second and third, the left-handed slugger absolutely obliterated a 98 mph sinker from Josh Staumont and sent it flying 426 feet — with an exit velocity of 110.2 mph — over everything in right field for his 20th dinger of the season.

Michael Chavis, pinch-hitting for Hernández, drove in an additional run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh, while Gonzalez and Santana wrapped up productive days at the plate by collecting one more RBI each in the eighth.

All in all, the Red Sox lineup totaled 15 runs on 17 hits on Thursday. Devers went 3-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored, and five RBI to tie a season-high in that department. Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI, and one walk. And Santana — in his best game in a Sox uniform to date — went 3-for-5 with a double, one run scored, an a season-high five runs driven in.

Eovaldi tosses seven scoreless frames

While the Red Sox were getting stellar production out of their lineup on Thursday, they also got yet another impressive start from Nathan Eovaldi.

Making his 17th start of the season in this one, the right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings while scattering just five hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts on the afternoon.

Four of the five hits Eovaldi allowed came within the first three innings. From the top of the fourth up until the middle of the seventh, the flame-throwing righty retired 12 of the last 13 hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 84 (63 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler picked up his team-leading ninth winning decision of the year while also lowering his ERA to 3.41. His next start should come against the Angels in Anaheim next Tuesday.

Andriese gives up shutout bid

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Andriese came on the for the eighth inning, faced the minimum in the inning thanks to a double play, but was unable to keep the shutout going in the ninth when he served up an RBI double to Jarrod Dyson.

Still, Andriese did stay on until the end, and he saw the Sox’ 15-1 victory through to its completion.

Next up: Heading out West

The Red Sox will board a flight to San Francisco later Thursday afternoon and open up a three-game series against the Athletics in Oakland on Friday.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is slated to get the ball for Boston in the series opener, while right-hander Frankie Montas will be doing the same for Oakland.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Danny Santana: Boston Red Sox)

Red Sox lineup: Kiké Hernández dropped down to seventh for Game 2 against Yankees, J.D. Martinez scratched due to sore left wrist

For the first time this season, Kiké Hernández will not be batting leadoff for the Red Sox while still being in the starting lineup.

Hernández has been dropped down to the seven-hole and will start in center field for Saturday night’s game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The switch-hitting Danny Santana will start at designated hitter and bat leadoff in Hernández’s place.

“Danny’s swinging the bat well, though he’s not getting on base,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of his lineup decision. “He hit a ball hard in Houston. He hit a ball hard yesterday. He brings speed to the equation. Just felt like today, with this matchup, it was good to put Danny there. Hopefully we can exploit a few things from their starter and be more aggressive on the base paths.”

J.D. Martinez was originally going to DH and bat third, but has since been scratched from the lineup due to a sore left wrist that he jammed on a slide into second base on Friday night. The slugger will be available to pinch hit later in the game if needed, per Cora.

Coming into play Saturday, Hernández is carrying with him a .228/.284/.383 slash line to go along with eight doubles, one triple, five home runs, 12 RBI, 26 runs scored, one stolen base, 11 walks, and 38 strikeouts through his first 43 games of the season. This includes four pinch-hit appearances in which he replaced the No. 2, No. 8, and No. 9 hitters.

After missing nearly two weeks with a right hamstring strain and being activated from the injured list on May 17, the 29-year-old initially got off to a hot start with hits in four of his first six games back in action.

Since the Red Sox left Philadelphia, though, Hernández has cooled off significantly as he is currently in the midst of a 1-for-25 (.040) skid over his last seven games played dating back to May 25. He did not play in Thursday’s game against the Astros or Friday’s game against the Yankees.

What is surprising about the right-handed hitter’s recent struggles is that he has still proven to be effective when leading off a game (.289/.308/.395 in 39 plate appearances) or an inning (.275/.315/.522 in 73 plate appearances).

Still, the rather low on-base percentage Hernández has put up to this point without a doubt sticks out here.

Among 27 big-league leadoff hitters who have accrued at least 100 plate appearances thus far, Hernández ranks 20th in walk percentage (6.5%), ninth in strikeout percentage (20.8%), 25th in on-base percentage (.298), 21st in OPS (.700), 23rd in weighted on-base average (.305), and 23rd in wRC+ (91), per FanGraphs.

Prior to joining the Red Sox on a two-year, $14 million deal over the winter, the native of Puerto Rico batted out of the seven-hole in a grand total of 126 games between the Astros, Marlins, and Dodgers from 2014-2020.

In those 126 games, Hernández hit .200/.287/.335 with 16 homers and 48 RBI over 443 total plate appearances.

“Sometimes you got to breath,” Cora said of dropping Hernández down in the lineup. “Hitting him seventh, he’ll probably see the pitcher for one inning where he can see it from a different perspective and get feedback from the other hitters, and he can get going.”

Saturday’s contest in the Bronx will mark just Hernández’s third career game at Yankee Stadium, and his first since September 2016 when he was with the Dodgers.

Santana, meanwhile, will be batting leadoff for the third game in a row and the fourth time this season overall. The versatile 30-year-old is slashing .125/.222/.375 with two home runs and three RBI over his first 11 games as a member of the Red Sox.

What is Cora looking for out of the leadoff spot moving forward?

“We want somebody that can get on base,” he said. “Or somebody that can drive the ball. We want to set the tempo, and right now — we had that through stretches — but we haven’t been consistent.”

Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up alongside Santana, Hernández, and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who will be looking to bounce back from a rough month of May in his first start of June.

Right-hander Jameson Taillon will be getting the start for the Yankees. A handful of Red Sox hitters have faced him before, including Santana and Hunter Renfroe.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Kiké Hernández: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Red Sox demote struggling outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox optioned outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s 9-5 win over the Braves, the team announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

Cordero, one of five players the Red Sox acquired as part of the trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February, has gotten his Red Sox career off to a slow start.

Through 34 games played with Boston this season, the 26-year-old is slashing a measly .179/.228/.274 with just one home run, nine RBI, six walks, and 37 strikeouts over 102 plate appearances thus far.

With the emergence of the versatile, switch-hitting Danny Santana, Cordero began to see his playing time decrease prior to his demotion. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the left-handed hitter has only started four of his club’s last 11 games.

With that in mind, it would appear that the Red Sox would like Cordero to get more regular at-bats with the WooSox, who are currently taking on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa.

For his minor-league career, the Dominican native owns a lifetime .305/.357/.567 slash line to go along with 21 homers and 73 RBI in 115 games at the Triple-A level, so perhaps some time in Worcester will do him good.

In Cordero’s place, the Red Sox will need to make a corresponding roster move and call someone up from the minors to get back to a 26-man major-league roster.

It’s unlikely that top outfield prospect Jarren Duran — who is currently playing for Team USA in an Olympic qualifying event in Florida — will take Cordero’s place on the active roster, per Cotillo.

Instead, Cotillo suggests that the Sox will likely call up a reliever ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Marlins at Fenway Park.

More specifically, one of Brandon Brennan or Colten Brewer — both of whom are on Boston’s 40-man roster — appear to be the most likely to get promoted since that would allow the Red Sox to go back to carrying 14 pitchers and 12 position players. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright Austin Brice to Triple-A Worcester after reliever clears waivers

Four days after being designated for assignment, Red Sox reliever Austin Brice has cleared waivers and has subsequently been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced Tuesday afternoon.

Brice, who turns 29 next month, was designated by Boston last Friday when utility man Danny Santana was called up from the WooSox ahead of this past weekend’s series against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Originally acquired in a January 2020 trade from the Marlins, the veteran right-hander struggled to find his footing in his second season with the Sox, posting an unsightly 6.94 ERA, 6.40 FIP, and 9:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12 appearances (11 2/3 innings pitched) this year.

Because he went unclaimed on waivers, Brice will report to Worcester, where — as noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo — he will join a WooSox bullpen that includes the likes of Brandon Brennan, Colten Brewer, Matt Hall, Kevin McCarthy, John Schreiber, Marcus Walden, and Brandon Workman, all of whom have big-league experience with the Red Sox or elsewhere.

Cotillo also adds that if the Red Sox found themselves in need of bullpen help at the minor-league level, they would likely turn to Brewer since he is one of two names above who are currently on Boston’s 40-man roster.

(Picture of Austin Brice: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)