Red Sox News: Franchy Cordero to make Boston debut this afternoon

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 8: Franchy Cordero #19 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 8, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 8: Franchy Cordero #19 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 8, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Franchy Cordero set to finally make Red Sox debut today

The time has finally come as spring training is winding down and Opening Day is quickly approaching, Franchy Cordero will finally make his Red Sox debut. The outfielder has been on the COVID IL but has finally cleared the protocols set in place by MLB to re-join the team and begin gearing up for the regular season.

Though the recent acquisition has a chance to see plenty of playing time this year, Red Sox manager Alex Cora has made it very clear that the team won’t be rushing his preparation for fear of injury. The four-year veteran has missed a total of 361 games since the beginning of 2018 and the Boston skipper is well aware of that. Cora spoke yesterday about the dynamic youngster and made it clear what the team’s approach will be with him.

"“We’ll see how he feels,” Cora said. “The concern is playing him too much right away in the outfield. We know about his history with injuries so we have to be careful with that. As far as at-bats, he probably has more at-bats than (Michael) Chavis, who’s leading the team with (33). We feel comfortable with that.”"

I think it’s a smart move from Cora and his training staff to be as hesitant as possible with Cordero as being injury prone is kind of what he’s known for. It’s hard not to be when you’ve missed nearly a calendar year’s worth of games over two and a half seasons. Even if they do take their time to make sure he’s as healthy as possible they may still slow roll him out into the regular season. Boston has enough guys that can play in the outfield to buy them some time though it won’t be much.

Just now, Cora held his morning press conference with the media and Cordero was once again the topic. He’ll make his debut this afternoon as the DH much as we saw with Xander Bogaerts last week before transitioning to the field, which is tentatively set for Monday. With X, there was plenty of time left to get him ready to go, in this case, I don’t know if the team will be able to fire Franchy up in time for April 1st. Nonetheless, Cora hasn’t quite taken the possibility off of the table and wants to see how the outfielder reacts to real action.

"“We’ll have a better idea as soon as he starts playing the outfield,” Cora said. “He played in that ‘B’ game. He felt fine. There’s a chance. I feel better about it but it won’t be fair to push him. He’ll probably get two at-bats — maybe three — depending on the action. If he plays the outfield in two days, it seems like it’s possible. We’ve just got to make sure he plays the outfield.”"

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Cordero is a career .236/.304/.433/.737 hitter with 12 homers and 36 RBI through 315 plate appearances. The rap on Franchy when the deal was made with Kansas City was that he can hit the ball really hard and really far but he’ll also strike out a lot, which he has, to the tune of 110 times. But as we’ve seen with other recent Red Sox acquisitions in Nick Pivetta and Garrett Richards, sometimes a change of scenery and coaching staff can do wonders for a player. Maybe getting with the Red Sox and Tim Hyers will allow him to bring down how whiff numbers and raise the hit counter.

We also heard from his former teams that he has a great potential to become a big bat in anyone’s lineup. I know, potential. But something that’s different in Boston than it is in other organizations is that we have Cora. being a former player and one that hasn’t lost his connection to that part of his career has allowed him to relate to his squad and earn their respect and trust. I believe the same could be for Franchy as he’ll be coming to a team that has won and will play for a manager that has rings from both sides of the field.

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I’m anxious to see what Cordero can do as from an offensive standpoint he’ll be similar to what we’re accustomed to from Andrew Benintendi, while not being able to match his defensive capabilities. Today will be a big step for the lefty to get back in the lineup for Opening Day as he’ll need to show Boston that he cannot only perform but do so while staying healthy. Only time will tell but I’m going to give Cora and his coaching staff the benefit of the doubt as they’ve more than earned it.

Today’s game against the Atlanta Braves has a 1:05 first pitch and will be televised on MLB Network as well as over the radio waves on WEEI 850.