FORT MYERS, Fla. — Manager Alex Cora says that Darwinzon Hernandez, a 22-year-old minor league left-hander, is in the mix to land a spot in the Boston Red Sox bullpen.

Hernandez has allowed one run over 10 innings and five appearances during spring training.

“I think he’s in the running, yeah,” Cora said of Hernandez, who has struck out 12 and walked five with a .200 batting average against. “He’s impressed people obviously with his stuff. We know what he can do and what he needs to do to be a starter. The way he’s throwing the ball and going after guys, although (Saturday) there was more hard contact. But he’s been good.

“We don’t rule out anything right now. Like I’ve been saying all along, everybody that’s here has a shot.”

Hernandez remained in the major league camp Monday on a day when top prospect Bobby Dalbec and 10 others were reassigned to Boston’s minor league camp.

Hernandez has primarily been a starter, but the team isn’t trying to stretch him out while he still has a shot at being used as a reliever.

“We can build innings later on,” said Cora.

Hernandez recorded a 1.88 ERA (522/3 innings, 11 earned runs), 1.22 WHIP, .209 batting average against, 74 strikeouts and 25 walks in his final 10 starts for Class A Salem in 2018.

DUSTIN PEDROIA will start the season on the injured list, which he expected.

“They have to hold me back,” Pedroia said. “I’m ready for Opening Day. It’s just they’re scared. No one’s ever come back from something like (cartilage restoration knee surgery) and they want me to make sure I follow the right steps to do that and make sure everyone’s 100 percent confident that when I come back I stay back and don’t have any issues.”

NATHAN EOVALDI pitched four innings of two-run ball for Boston in a 4-1 loss to the Twins. J.D. Martinez was 2 for 2.

IT’S NOT EASY to be amazed at anything Jackie Bradley Jr. does in center field, but the catch he made in the first inning of an exhibition game Sunday at Bradenton, Florida, against Pittsburgh amazed even him.

“I didn’t see it,” Bradley said. “Check it on the replay. I just turned around and threw my glove up where I thought it would be.”

The remarkable catch denied Josh Bell of extra bases.


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