Red Sox center fielder Adam Duvall has been diagnosed with a distal radius fracture in his left wrist, manager Alex Cora announced to re...
Red Sox center fielder Adam Duvall has been diagnosed with a distal radius fracture in his left wrist, manager Alex Cora announced to reporters Monday (Twitter link via Ian Browne of MLB.com). He’ll be placed on the 10-day injured list for now, with the expectation that he’ll miss several weeks of action. The team does not yet have an exact timetable for his expected recovery, though Cora told reporters that Duvall will not require surgery (via Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe). Infielder Bobby Dalbec is up from Triple-A Worcester in place of Duvall, and utilityman Rob Refsnyder started tonight’s game in center field.
Duvall exited yesterday’s game after making a diving play in the outfield, appearing to injure the same left wrist on which he had season-ending surgery a year ago. He’s been not only the Red Sox’ hottest hitter but one of the hottest bats in all of baseball, opening the season with a .455/.514/1.030 batting line and four home runs in 37 trips to the plate.
While no one can be expected to continue on at that pace — Duvall is a career .233/.292/.472 hitter — there were still some encouraging gains in this season’s early showing. Duvall’s 25.6% chase rate on pitches of the plate is the lowest of his career and an improvement by 10 percentage points over his career mark, and his 85.5% contact rate dwarfs his career mark of 74.2%. Unsurprisingly, given the early improvements in his approach, Duvall’s 13.5% strikeout rate is less than half his career 28.3% mark.
With Duvall sidelined, it’ll likely fall to Refsnyder and Raimel Tapia to man things in center field. Refsnyder will get the first crack at that tonight, with the Sox facing left-hander Jalen Beeks in tonight’s date with the undefeated Rays. Moving forward, it’s reasonable to expect the left-handed-hitting Tapia to get the majority of looks on the larger half of what looks like a conventional platoon. If the Sox want to shift Enrique Hernandez from the infield back to the outfield, he’d be another option in center.
The injury is tough for Duvall not only because it’ll derail his hot start but also due to the nature of his contract. Duvall is a free agent after the season, having inked a one-year, $7MM contract over the winter and was hoping for a healthy, productive campaign to line him up for a multi-year deal next winter. His contract also contains up to $3MM worth of incentives based on plate appearances. Duvall earns $500K bonuses for reaching each of 350, 400, 450 and 500 plate appearances, as well as a $1MM bonus upon reaching 550 trips to the plate. Duvall’s broken wrist all but assures that he won’t reach the very top end of that bonus structure, though depending on how quickly he’s able to return, he could still have a chance to reach those first couple milestones.
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