The path back to the bigs for Franchy Cordero may indeed come at first base.
Cordero, who was traded to the Boston Red Sox in the deal that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals, has played his entire MLB career in the outfield. But after he was sent out of a loaded outfield group and down to Boston’s Triple-A affiliate amid a hitting slump, the organization got crafty.
Shortly after he was first seen taking reps at first base, Cordero got the start at the bag in the Worcester Red Sox’s game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Wednesday. The WooSox lost 5-2, snapping a three-game winning streak, but Cordero shined defensively.
In addition to that highlight-reel grab, Cordero was also involved in a pair of double plays that were both initiated by shortstop Jeter Downs.
But ironically enough, his bat was what kept him from a performance worthy of a near-immediate call-up. He was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk.
When Cordero was sent down to Worcester, he was hitting just .178 with 37 strikeouts through 34 games. But once he got to the minors, he was on fire. Even with the off night, Cordero is hitting .365 with six home runs and 25 RBIs through 33 games in Worcester.
There’s no space for Cordero in an outfield crowded with consistent performances from Alex Verdugo, Kiké Hernández and Hunter Renfroe. But if he can keep it up offensively, he could be the savior for Bobby Dalbec’s struggles against right-handed pitchers and work in a platoon with the newcomer at the bag.
It seems like this experiment could be worth continuing.