Why Red Sox Chose Bobby Dalbec Over Jarren Duran After Adam Duvall Injury

Dalbec provides a better matchup for the Red Sox in the short term


Apr 10, 2023

The Boston Red Sox announced Monday they placed Adam Duvall on the 10-day injured list after the starting center fielder suffered a broken wrist against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. The Red Sox chose to fill Duvall’s spot on the active roster with infielder Bobby Dalbec as opposed to another outfielder like Jarren Duran.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before Monday night’s series-opener against the Tampa Bay Rays that while Duran was in the conversation, Dalbec made more sense given he’s a right-handed batter while Duran bats left-handed. The Red Sox expect to face a string of left-handed pitchers both in four games in Tampa Bay and in their next series against the Los Angeles Angels.

“Because we face eight lefties in nine days so he’s right-handed hitter and we can use him at first base, at third base,” Cora told reporters when asked why Boston went with Dalbec. “We’re here in Tampa with this turf, you know, so maybe we can give Raffy (Devers) a day (off) at third base and just use (Dalbec) that way.”

Dalbec also provides some positional versatility, which Cora stressed was going to be more important for everyone now given the injury to Duvall. Dalbec, specifically, has the ability to play three of the four infield positions at first base, third base and even shortstop. He’ll likely have the opportunity to show that, along with Yu Chang, given the likelihood Kiké Hernández could see more time in center field.

Dalbec was one of Boston’s final roster cuts after the team finished spring training as he was beat out by Chang for the utility spot on the Opening Day roster. He’s since played in Triple-A Worcester where he’s hit .261 with one home run, five RBIs, six runs scored and compiled a .879 OPS.

“I mean, just come here and be ready,” Cora said regarding his message to Dalbec. “There’s a few things that we’re doing that we want to continue doing. It starts in the clubhouse and preparation in the dugout and all that and be ready. He’s always ready.

“He was swinging the bat well the last few days down there, hopefully whenever he gets a chance just keep doing the things you were doing,” Cora said.

The Red Sox will take on the Rays on Monday night in their first game since the injury to Duvall and activation of Dalbec. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN after an hour of pregame coverage.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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