FT. MYERS FL: Juan Carlos Linares #86 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait during the Boston Red Sox Photo Day at the Boston Red Sox Player Development Complex in Ft. Myers Florida (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
With Jackie Bradley Jr. heading to Double-A Portland after an excellent 67 games with the High-A Salem Red Sox, room needed to be made in the Sea Dog's outfield. That spot will open up courtesy of the promotion of 27-year-old Juan Carlos Linares to Pawtucket.
This is somewhat long-awaited, in that Linares started 2011 with Triple-A Pawtucket, but missed nearly all of the season due to injury. For the current campaign, an overabundance of outfielders meant Linares was needed a level back, at Double-A. He's back where he was a year ago, though, and likely to stay there this time.
Whether or not he succeeds is another matter, though. Linares hit .333/.403/.538 with Portland, but reports are that he's heavy on the fastball mashing, and has a difficult time with secondary offerings. More experienced arms, with more advanced offerings, could turn out to be an issue as he attempts to mash his way to the majors despite the late start to his pro career.
That being said, he's certainly earned the chance to succeed or fail just one level from the bigs, as there wasn't anything left to learn in his game that could be taught against Double-A competition.