BOSTON — Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran said Wednesday that he remains unvaccinated against COVID-19, meaning he’ll be ineligible to play next week’s three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

“I feel like everybody has had their time to make their personal decisions, talk to their families and stuff like that,” Duran said. “Since I’m up here, I’m still doing my research, talking to my family and doing what’s best for me.”

All travelers to Canada must be vaccinated against COVID-19, so any unvaccinated players are not eligible to play games in Toronto this season. In April, two Red Sox pitchers – Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford – were placed on the restricted list for Boston’s four-game series at Rogers Centre because they were not vaccinated. Houck, who has assumed the closer role in recent weeks, will also be inactive for next week’s series, Manager Alex Cora confirmed.

It’s unclear if any members of Boston’s current 26-man roster beyond Houck and Duran will miss the three-game set, which begins Monday. Any unvaccinated players do not receive pay or service time while on the restricted list.

Duran, who has bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the majors this year, acknowledged that missing three of his team’s games is “tough.” The 25-year-old is hitting .303 with two doubles, two triples and two steals in nine big league games this year.

“We all know going in that it’s a decision. We’ve had more time to think about it,” he said. “It is tough but it’s still a personal decision. Everybody gets to make their own decision.”

The Red Sox are shorthanded in their outfield because Kiké Hernández (right hip flexor strain) on the injured list and is not particularly close to a return. In Hernández’s absence, Duran and Rob Refsnyder have admirably manned center field. Assuming Hernández is not ready to come back for the Toronto series, Refsnyder and Jackie Bradley Jr. will likely be leaned upon in center while Franchy Cordero and Christian Arroyo (who is expected to be activated off the COVID list Friday) sharing time in right field.

Since vaccinations became available last spring, Cora and other Red Sox officials have encouraged the team’s players to get their shots while stressing that each individual’s decision is possible. The team cannot mandate that players get vaccinated. Duran said he has felt supported by the organization.

“We’re a family here and people have their reasons for getting it, people have their reasons for not getting it,” Duran said. “It’s nice to know we’re supported in whatever we do.”


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