The Red Sox are coming off a long, wild series against the Yankees that ended in a split. With Sunday’s doubleheader being over, they had to lose one man off their roster to get back down to 25, and with Eduardo Rodriguez returning from the disabled list on Monday they’d have to lose another. They’ve decided on Tzu-Wei Lin and Austin Maddox as the two players who will head back to the minors.
Maddox and Lin have been optioned to Pawtucket.— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) July 17, 2017
It was initially a little surprising to me that Lin got optioned down to Triple-A given how impressive he’s been since his surprising promotion to the majors, but it makes more sense as you think about it more. With Brock Holt returning from the disabled list, either Lin, Deven Marrero or Sam Travis had to go. A demotion for Travis could be justified, I suppose, but Mitch Moreland is not someone you want playing everyday anymore and Travis is a nice right-handed counterpart. Marrero, meanwhile, has been hot with the bat and is a perfect late-game defensive replacement at third base for Holt. Lin hit .280/.379/.360 in his 59 plate appearances with the big-league club while flashing strong defense at the hot corner. He’ll certainly be back.
Maddox’ demotion, meanwhile, was not at all surprising. When he was called up for Boston’s doubleheader on Sunday, it made sense to simply use him as an extra arm for a bullpen that desperately needed some help. The righty is a solid pitcher, and I was impressed with his performance on Saturday, but until he takes a step forward his best role is as an up-and-down middle relief arm. He’ll have time to prove he can do more than that.
So, the Red Sox are getting closer to full-strength with Holt and Rodriguez back in the lineup. It sucks to see Lin go down, but it’s always nice to see All-Star Brock Holt back on the roster.