Boston – The Red Sox need a spark for an attack that hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this season.
The Sox called up Duran in Friday’s opener of a three-game series against the White Sox.
However, the timing of Doran’s addition had more to do with Kiki Hernandez’s entry into the COVID-19 list than the club’s last game.
Hernandez hasn’t tested positive yet, but it’s his symptoms. Duran, who was entered into the lead in Friday’s game, will remain in pole position until Hernandez’s return.
Depending on the performance of the fast left hitter, can he continue even after Hernandez returns?
“We’ll talk about it depending on what happens,” said Alex Cora, director of Red Sox. “He’s here today. Let’s put it this way.”
Doran was happy to be back, basically so he could shake off the bitter taste he had left when his first chance to play for the Boston side didn’t go well last season.
“After the first time, I felt like a complete failure,” Doran said. “What people say about you… You hear what people say about you and you feel bad about yourself. The second time around, it feels like redemption. I’m going to go out here and play the way I know how to play and play with my hair on fire.”
Last season, the Red Sox called up Doran after the All-Star break to start a series at Yankee Stadium.
In 33 games, he’s cut .215/.241/.336 with two housewives and 10 RBIs. Perhaps most surprisingly, Duran only stole two bases.
He came to the Red Sox in the middle of a hot hot streak. In 15 games for Triple-A Worcester, Duran has a streak of .397/ .478/ .638 with two homers, 11 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
However, Doran wasn’t interested in hearing about his Triple-A numbers.
“I feel good,” Doran said. “But none of that matters here. No one cares what you did in the palace when you reach the major tournaments.”
In this time with the Red Sox, Duran vows to be more true to who he’s always been as a player. Last year, he got involved in a home hit attempt after suffering a force rupture in Triple-A.
Now, he plans to drive with the best tool he has – his speed.
“I feel like I used to have that in college and then lost it when I played pro football,” Duran said. “I feel like I’m finally going to be back at it again, and it feels good. I feel like I can use all my tools again.”
Cora is all about bringing Doran back to his roots.
“I think we’re at the closest we’re getting in terms of hitting line and pennant engines,” Cora said. “I think it’s 3 vs 3 this season in extraordinary runs. Just go out there and run. The fun part of it is when he’s at the start and the ball is in the gap and you see him running.
“I talked to him today, just go out there and have a day. Put pressure on them. I think a little bit of energy is always good and he’s full of energy and full of energy.”
Entering Friday’s events, Boston ranked 24 in the majors, scored (90 in 26 games) and garnered a bit of offensive production from players Hernandez, Jackie Bradley Jr and Alex Verdugo.
But Doran tries not to pay attention to things like that.
“I just want to play my game and stay where I am. I don’t need to find and play the manager, people say,” Doran said. “When they call me, that’s when they know I’m ready. I don’t need to think about it. This is their job. My job is just to play.”
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