Has Jarren Duran Done Enough To Solidify A Full-Time Roster Spot?

Has Duran Done Enough To Earn A Roster Spot?

The Boston Red Sox roster has been relatively crowded as of late, with nearly every batting position having a huge line of depth behind them.  With injuries to Kike Hernandez and Christian Arroyo recently, we have had the chance to see Rob Refsnyder get some playing time in the outfield. 

We have also been able to see a few other players who started out in Worcester this year, such as Franchy Cordero, Josh Wieckowski, and Jarren Duran.  The latter of those three will be who I want to cover in this article, as he has been on a hot streak so far this season and potentially could find himself on the 26-man roster long term.  

2022 Statistical production

So far, including last night’s game against the Detroit Tigers, Jarren Duran has been relatively productive on offense for the Sox.  In his 8 games played in the majors this season, he has accrued the following stat line:

  • 9 hits in 29 at-bats (.310/.394/.517 splits)
  • 4 XBH (2 doubles & 2 triples)
  • 2 stolen bases, 3 walks drawn, and a 1.000 fielding % in 14 defensive chances

One of the most notable traits he brings to the Boston Red Sox is his blazing speed, which we have seen on display on numerous occasions in the last two seasons.  The most notable being his “triple + error” according to the stat sheets, which was essentially just an inside-the-park home run.  He drove the ball deep into the gap between right and center field, and with the center fielder bobbling the ball, Duran took off and put the Sox up 4-2.  

This type of trait obviously does not show up in the stats, as this was recorded down as a triple.  However, his speed has allowed him to accrue 11 XBH in his 41 games played at the major league level, 4 of which were triples.  He also has 4 stolen bases across both seasons, 2 of which coming in yesterday’s game, which just continues to show off his exceptional speed as a player. 

While he may not be the strongest hitter on the team, he plays exceptionally well as a short-range hitter and baserunner, which is something the Red Sox need to compliment their power in Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Trevor Story.  

Current 40-Man Roster At His Positions

Jarren Duran has played a variety of positions in his baseball career.  The 3 primary positions he has stuck to are center and right field, as well as second base.  As of right now, here are the Red Sox’s normal starters at those 3 positions on the roster:

  • 2nd base: Trevor Story
  • Center field: Kike Hernandez (on 10-day IL)
  • Left Field: Alex Verdugo

As you can guess by these 3 spots, there is not necessarily an easy route for Duran to secure a starting role, as all 3 of his positions are high-quality players.  He is getting some good playing time at the moment due to injuries, but when Kike returns in the coming two weeks or so, there will be a log jam in the outfield.  There is a few options to change the lineup and get Duran a few games with a starting role. 

Firstly, they could take JBJ out of the starting lineup for a period of time, let him be a depth roster piece, and start Duran in his place.  The issue with this is that Jackie Bradley Jr. is a stout defensive piece for the Sox, and has been at least solid on offense this season, so they would have to be absolutely certain in Duran before doing this.  

The second option?  Play Kike in the role of say a Brock Holt, where he is a utility player and moves around to whichever position they may need most on the day.  He has played Outfield, Second, and shortstop primarily, so he has the utility to be a player who rotates in and out of the roster as needed and allows JBJ to remain for defensive purposes.  Is this the optimal choice for Boston?  Not necessarily.  But if they are dead set on Duran, which they should be if he continues to perform as he has been, then this may be the best way to get him in the lineup more often.  

Does Duran Deserve A Full-Time Roster Spot?

In the simplest possible terms, yes.  However, the issue becomes when you try to figure out how to get him into a full-time spot, and where he fits into the roster.  Obviously, Kike will be returning presumably within the next two weeks or less, and with this, he will more than likely take his center field spot back.  Now, if Duran continues to play as he has so far this season, and retains his .300+ batting average and .380+ OBP, the Red Sox are going to have their hands forced into giving him a starting role or making another decision (potentially a trade if they cannot find him a role). 

Jarren has been outstanding so far in his games played at the pro level, and the Sox management is going to have some tough decisions coming up during the middle portion of the season.  We will see how it all plays out, both with Kike returning and Duran getting a few more games before then, but until then, all we know is he has been a great player for Boston this season. 

Written by Jeremy Trottier: Check him out on Twitter here

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