WORCESTER — The WooSox could have Triple A’s best hitter atop their roster.
Since being sent back to Worcester on August 2, Franchy Cordero has ripped cover off the ball, much like he did before being called up at the end of April.
He missed the first two games of that homestand with a knee bruise, but came back swinging a hot bat, racking up nine RBIs and 15 total goals over the past two games.
Cordero opened Friday night’s game with a grand slam against Rochester starter Franklyn Kilome.
“He got a 2-0 tally, and I thought that wasn’t a good tally to run with the bases loaded,” WooSox manager Chad Tracy said. “You might be a little happy and try to shoot him or whatever. But he just stayed until the end. He has enormous power over all defenders, so to see him using most of the pitch is great.
On Thursday, he went away from a right-hander, Joan Adon, and then again from a left-hander, Alberto Baldonado.
“He’s impressive when he’s like that. Homer on a southpaw…what impressed me at the start of the season was that he didn’t seem too bothered by the left-handed throw either, which I think comes out of him said Tracy. He can punch, he hangs on against southpaws and you might see the traits of an everyday player.
Cordero struggled near the end of his last major league stint after getting off to a strong start, hitting .153 with 36 strikeouts in 72 at-bats in 24 major league games since July 1.
Anyone who watches Cordero for a long time knows what can be so frustrating about him as a hitter: inconsistency. Cordero’s good matches, especially in Triple A, tend to be really good. But stringing together good performances is not so easy. The goal while Cordero is in Worcester is to find a way to “lengthen those times” where he swings a hot bat.
“For him, it’s just consistency,” Tracy said. “He has those moments. Then he’s got the few games where he’s going to struggle and the strikeouts are piling up, and then all of a sudden he’s going to be 4-on-4 again.”
It goes without saying that a big part of the reason Cordero is hitting .386 in 11 games in his second stint with the WooSox is the fact that he faces a Triple A pitcher instead of a major league pitcher. . But beyond that is the fact that Cordero is back to the positions he’s used to full-time.
Since returning to Worcester, it looks like Cordero’s filler days at first base are over, at least for now. Although Cordero has played useful first base defense when needed in the infield, it’s clear he’s more at home in the outfield. He has played exclusively in the outfield for the WooSox since his return, getting most of his time in the corners but also seeing time in the center, sometimes out of need for Worcester. However, center court is Cordero’s preferred position to play, according to Tracy.
“I think most guys will do whatever they have to do to make it to the big leagues, but obviously he’s comfortable in the outfield. He’s also a really good center fielder,” Tracy said. “I always tease him because he plays a lot in the corners and I told him ‘you have to play in the middle.’ And he says ‘that’s my favorite position.’ comfortable.
It’s also pretty clear every time you watch Cordero at Polar Park that he’s in his element with his teammates and the fans. He almost always has a smile on his face. He even came out after Friday’s game and threw t-shirts at fans before the fireworks.
For now, Cordero is getting as many batsmen as possible atop a WooSox lineup that’s as dangerous as it’s been all season (arguably the heaviest lineup the WooSox have ever had) and carrying on. to produce and buy time in the outfield to stay ready as an option if the Red Sox call on him.
“I think for him it’s all about coming down here and taking a deep breath,” Tracy said. “We put him at the top of the roster to give him as many appearances as possible, and let him take a deep breath and get back to who he is, or who he was for a few months in the big leagues. . I think people sometimes forget because his last moment up there he struggled but they forget the first moment he was helping them win and then other things started to build up. asked to do different things and he had difficulty.
“But we want him to breathe deeply and have fun, take good shots, get back to who he is, and hopefully we can lock him down again and give him an option if he does. they need an outfielder to get back there.”
Jeter Downs injury update
Shortstop WooSox Jeter Downs left Thursday’s game after falling midway between first and second as he attempted a double and limped into the clubhouse on Friday. He is day to day but will not play this weekend as he is receiving treatment for his injured left ankle.
“We all think a sprained ankle is like going outside. It’s more of an inside sprain,” WooSox manager Chad Tracy said ahead of Friday’s game.
Get your Fitzy gear
The WooSox will become the first Minor League Baseball team to introduce a line of player merchandise when they officially release their “WooSox X RYAN FITZGERALD” collection on August 20 at Polar Park.
Players and staff wore shirts in three different designs which Fitzgerald contributed to. Most opted for the shirt that looked like Fitzgerald with his big sunglasses and, of course, his signature mullet.
The fashion line was designed by Courtney Cowsill, the club’s graphic and web design director.
“Throughout my career, there are Technicolor moments that live on in my memory,” Cowsill said. “Now I have another moment to add to this reel: sitting in the Polar Park house dugout watching Ryan Fitzgerald see the final product line. He was so responsive and honestly as excited as we were. You can’t ask for more than that.
Fitzgerald will sign autographs and take photos with fans in the team store Saturday from 12-12:30 p.m. The first 300 fans to purchase an item from the collection will receive a special-edition “Fitzy Fan Club” sticker free of charge. Items will be available until the end of the year or while supplies last.