The Red Sox just cannot seem to catch a break in the infield, and on Saturday they were forced to dip even deeper into their depth. Josh Rutledge, who was a late scratch from Friday’s lineup, has been placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list. Taking his spot on the roster is Portland infielder Tzu-Wei Lin.
Josh Rutledge to the DL. Tzu-Wei Lin up from Portland.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) June 24, 2017
Rutledge has been filling in for Pablo Sandoval at third base and Dustin Pedroia at second base this season, and while he hasn’t been particularly impressive he was their best option. Deven Marrero is still around to fill in, but there isn’t much on the depth chart after him at the moment. Hence, the surprise call-up of Lin.
Lin has been in the Red Sox organization since 2012 when the team signed him out of Taiwan for a little over $2 million. He hasn’t hit much since joining the organization, and has slowly made his way through the system. This has been a breakout season for the infielder, though, as he’s showing much more with the bat than ever before. In 184 plate appearances at Double-A, he is hitting .302/.379/.491 with a career-high five home runs. Prior to 2017, he had never hit more than two dingers in a season.
Power is never going to be a big part of the 23-year-old’s game, but he’s made real strides at the plate this season and has solid contact skills to go with a line drive approach. Where he’ll really make his mark, though, is with the glove. He is a plus defensive shortstop and can play all over the infield. Additionally, the organization has started to give him some time in the outfield. Lin’s ceiling is likely that of a utility player, but there’s a major-league future here. It’s just starting a little sooner than was expected. It’s also worth pointing out that Lin will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter, so a promotion to the 40-man roster was likely to happen at some point anyway.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox moved Brock Holt to the 60-day disabled list. Holt has been out since the end of April, so this doesn’t really move any timetable he may have for a return.
In addition to adding Lin and placing Rutledge on the disabled list, the Red Sox also optioned Hector Velazquez to Pawtucket and placed Doug Fister on their active roster.
Hector Velazquez has been optioned back to Pawtucket to make room for Doug Fister— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) June 24, 2017
This is not a big surprise after they claimed the former Mariner and Tiger on Friday.