The Franchy Cordero experiment could be on display in Boston soon.
Cordero, who came to the Red Sox as an outfielder in the trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals, was sent to Triple-A Worcester amid a hitting slump in May. While he was there, the organization decided to try him out at first base, and he ended up playing 27 games on the grass, 10 as the designated hitter and six at first.
He fared well enough that the Red Sox on Thursday called him up to fill the roster spot of utility man Danny Santana, who was moved to the 10-day injured list with a groin strain. Red Sox manager Alex Cora opened up about Cordero’s development in the minors while speaking to reporters before Thursday’s game against the New York Yankees.
“Everything that we hear, everything that we see, is his swing decisions have been better, which is very important,” Cora said via Zoom. “I think here at one point he was hesitant to let it go. It was kind of like the take, take, take swing mode. Now it’s more about I’m looking for a pitch, I’m going to try and drive it.
“He played well at first base. I got a text from (Worcester Red Sox coach Bruce) Crabbe early on talking about him and what he was able to accomplish at first. Everybody’s comfortable with him, with the way he played the last week at first base. He’s made some progress.”
Cordero hit just .179 in 34 games with the Red Sox, a figure that nearly doubled while he was with the WooSox. The 26-year-old returns to the bigs having hit .329 with six home runs and seven steals through 44 games, though he is just at the Mendoza Line and a 36 percent strikeout rate in his last 13 outings.
It remains to be seen how the Red Sox will use Cordero moving forward, but with the added infield experience he may be able to provide some flexibility against right-handed pitchers, where first baseman Bobby Dalbec struggles.
Dalbec is starting at first Thursday against the Yankees, who have opted for lefty Jordan Montgomery on the hill.