Alex Cora shares message for Jarren Duran after demotion to Triple-A


This season has been a learning experience for Jarren Duran, to say the least.

The Boston Red Sox optioned the 25-year-old outfielder to Triple-A Worcester on Saturday to clear a roster spot for Trevor Story, who returns to the active roster after a lengthy injury hiatus.

Duran spent more than two months as the Red Sox' starting center fielder, with mixed results: He batted .220 with 63 strikeouts over 57 games and made several blunders in the outfield, most notably against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 22 when he lost a Raimel Tapia fly ball in the lights to allow an inside-the-park grand slam.

Tomase: Offense continues to let Red Sox down in key moments

When asked about Duran's demotion Saturday, however, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he's been pleased with Duran's defensive progress.

"Defensively, his jumps were a lot better," Cora said, via "Decision making was OK. But I think at least we accomplished something we wanted to going into spring training. Right now as far as his jumps and routes, we feel very comfortable with him.

Where Duran needs the most work, Cora noted, is on offense, where he struck out in 28.8 percent of his at-bats.

"There’s a few things he needs to do better offensively. I think he understands that," Cora said. "... We talked a little bit (Friday); He did a few things bunting-wise while he was here. That should be part of his game. So just keep going. He’s a part of this. At one point, he’s going to be back and we do believe he’s going to contribute."

Duran should benefit from getting additional at-bats with Worcester while Kiké Hernandez mans center field. Story also should lengthen the Red Sox' lineup after being sidelined since July 12 with a fractured wrist.

Boston is eight games out of a Wild Card spot, so the team's focus should be on building momentum heading into the 2023 season -- with Duran hopefully returning as an improved player.

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