Jarren Duran is one step closer to returning to the Red Sox.
The outfielder, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 3 after he was placed on the virus-related injured list because he didn’t feel good, was officially assigned to Triple-A Worcester on Friday. He will bat leadoff as the WooSox’s designated hitter Friday against the Syracuse Mets.
While it’s certainly a positive update, Duran’s return to action is coming later than expected. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Wednesday that Duran and Christian Arroyo had “a good chance” to join the farm team in that day’s game against Syracuse.
Arroyo ended up starting Thursday’s game and he went 0-for-3 before he was replaced in the sixth inning.
Duran has appeared in 33 games for the Red Sox this season since making his MLB debut July 17. He boasts a .215 batting average with three doubles, two triples, a pair of home runs and 10 RBIs. He spent more than a month with the big-league club before he returned to Worcester on Aug. 24, though his demotion didn’t last too long as he was recalled by the Red Sox two days later.
Should he return to the Red Sox, Duran will be an important depth piece in center field, where Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo have had to share duties in his absence.