The Red Sox chose the outfielder Jarren Duran at Triple-A Worcester, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. right handed Tanner Houck will take its place on the active list. The Red Sox have yet to officially announce this and any other roster changes that will be made this afternoon.
Duran, 24, is considered one of baseball’s top prospects, but didn’t touch the ground on his first call-up from Worcester last month. The seventh round of 2018 was the everyday center fielder in Boston on his debut, but struggled to adjust to big-league throws. In 89 appearances on the plate, Duran posted a .221 / .236 / .372 forward slash. He has only shot two walks in that span and broke a whopping 37.1% record to start his big-league career.
The Red Sox surely still see Duran as a key part of their future. However, with the acquisition deadline Kyle schwarber now in the optional fold in the left field – Alex Verdugo is able to center the roster – the Sox can send Duran back to Worcester for further refinement in a lower pressure setting. The fact that Boston slipped quickly in the AL East standings due to both the Sox’s poor play and the Yankees’ 10-game winning streak surely also adds some pressure to get better immediate results on the court.
Duran appeared in 46 games for Worcester earlier this season and fared pretty well, hitting 0.270 / 0.365 / 0.561 with much better goals and strikeout percentages – 11.0 and 23.7 , respectively – than he showed in the Majors. It will have to spend 10 days with minors unless it is recalled as a movement corresponding to an injury. The rosters can drop from 26 to 28 starting September 1, so he could very well have another opportunity in the Majors before too long.
The decision to go with Duran today will not impact his path to free agency or his refereeing schedule. Based on the July 17 date of Duran’s initial promotion to the big leagues, the maximum service time he could have accumulated in 2021 was 79 days – well below a full year of service (172 days). He is controllable at least during the 2027 season as it stands and would reach refereeing during the 2024-25 offseason. Even if Duran remains in Triple-A for the remainder of the current season, that free agency timeline would remain intact as long as he accumulates at least 134 days of service next season. The Sox are expected to keep him in Worcester until the end of May next year to change that schedule, which seems unlikely.