Can Jarren Duran's demotion lead to Jacoby Ellsbury-like impact?


Jarren Duran's first-round in the major leagues didn't go exactly as planned.

The rookie outfielder hit .221 with a .608 OPS in 89 plate appearances, striking out 33 times and walking just twice before before being sent to Triple-A Worcester Tuesday.

Duran ultimately wasn't the sparkplug the Red Sox had hoped, with the team going just 12-15 in games he played.

"Obviously, we don’t control the rotations of the opposition but there were a lot of lefties we faced there for a long stretch," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "Coming into the situation we were going to protect them against most of them so I think timing-wise it was very hard on him. But at the same time, it was a good learning experience to be around him and be around us and understand what it takes to be a big leaguer. He’s not the first promising rookie to get sent down. He’s not the first promising rookie to get sent down in this organization. He’s not the first outfielder that’s very fast that gets sent down in the middle of the season so we’ll be patient.

"There are a few things he has to work on defensively, running the bases, bunting a little bit more. We gave him the homework and he’ll work on it and we’ll see where he takes it. As far as the other stuff the way he goes about his business, it’s amazing. Obviously, it’s not easy to come up here. I think it’s a lot harder this year because of the lack of repetitions last year but he’s a guy we really like. We still like him the same way we like him when we called him up July 15 and somebody we trust."

Later Cora confirmed it was, indeed, Jacoby Ellsbury who he was referring to when referencing a previous demotion.

The Red Sox can only hope that a similar scenario as the one experienced by Ellsbury in 2007 takes place. That season, the centerfielder was sent back to Triple-A twice before sticking with the big-league club starting on Sept. 1.

Ellsbury, of course, went on to serve as a catalyst for the Sox during their World Series sweep of Colorado.

"He made an impact later in the season," said Cora of Ellsbury in his rookie season. "I think it’s something players sometimes have to go through. This is a hard level. You know Joey’s saying it’s MLB, not four Four-A. So there are growing pains. It’s not easy just to come here and produce and obviously where we’re at roster-wise it made sense for him to go down there and get at-bats. But there’s a balance. If we’re winning here, trying to do everything possible to win here, but at the same time if the roster moves a certain way and he’s not going to get at-bats the best thing for him is to get at-bats down there and keep working on the things he was working on here. He’ll be OK. We cannot make any promises that he’ll be here in 10 days or 15 days whatever, but one thing is for sure, he’s part of the future."

Duran's demotion cleared the roster spot needed to promote Tanner Houck, who got the start in the series opener against the Twins Tuesday night.

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