Red Sox's Alex Cora Commits to Jarren Duran in CF Amid Struggles: 'We Trust Him'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 7, 2022

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran cannot field an RBI double by New York Yankees' Anthony Rizzo during the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 9, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora said the team was committed to Jarren Duran despite the center fielder's ongoing struggles this season.

"He's our center fielder right now. We trust him," he said on NESN on Sunday. "This is a kid that's part of what we're trying to accomplish and we're going to keep rolling with him."

Durran had a tough Sunday in particular, with a pair of mistakes in the field and a confrontation with Kansas City Royals fans during Boston's 13-5 loss.

Jomboy Media @JomboyMedia

Jarren Duran is having an interesting 7th inning<br><br>Misplayed a ball, couldn't secure a fly ball, makes a diving catch and argues with some fans <a href="https://t.co/w0MCSCnRtJ">pic.twitter.com/w0MCSCnRtJ</a>

Jason Mastrodonato @JMastrodonato

Jarren Duran made back to back mistakes in CF where the ball bounced off his glove. Then made a diving catch. Now he appears to be yelling and pointing at Royals fans who it’s safe to assume were chirping at him. Alex Verdugo is holding him back.

Chris Cotillo @ChrisCotillo

NESN cameras with a shot of Alex Cora consoling Jarren Duran in the Red Sox dugout. Duran with his head down, nodding as Cora talks to him.

Chris Cotillo @ChrisCotillo

Via NESN postgame, Duran says fans were throwing bottlecaps at him. <a href="https://t.co/AhoDdeRWAp">https://t.co/AhoDdeRWAp</a>

Thus continued a difficult 2022 season for the 25-year-old, who was dropped to ninth in the batting order ahead of Sunday's game after largely serving as the leadoff hitter when he started.

For the season, Durran is hitting .225 with two homers, 12 RBI, 20 runs, seven stolen bases and a .650 OPS in 42 games. Over the last 30 days, he's hitting .139.

In many ways, Durran is an apt metaphor for the Red Sox themselves this season: talented but struggling mightily nonetheless. The Red Sox are 54-56 after Sunday's loss and find themselves in last place in the AL East, one season removed from a trip to the ALCS.

When the Houston Astros beat them in six games in that series, the Red Sox appeared poised to challenge for a World Series berth yet again in 2022, or at least for a playoff position. Instead, they find themselves in the basement of the loaded AL East.

Durran's recent struggles have contributed to Boston's fall from grace, though he's hardly the only culprit. But after two seasons of struggles, there are very real questions about whether he will have a place in the Red Sox's outfield beyond this season.

For now, Cora remains a believer.