As of now, it appears there are three potential areas of need the Red Sox could address before the trade deadline: Relief pitching, starting pitching, and second base/infield. The second one is relevant today as Boston should have a better idea of what they already have after Tuesday’s game in Baltimore, if they even get it in. Drew Pomeranz is coming off the disabled list to make his first major-league start since the end of May. In order to make room for him on the active roster, Tzu-Wei Lin has been optioned back down to Pawtucket.
The #RedSox today returned LHP Drew Pomeranz from his injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket and activated him from the 10-day disabled list. To make room on the 25-man roster, the club optioned INF Tzu-Wei Lin to Pawtucket. pic.twitter.com/1Z3W3tET5f— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) July 24, 2018
The big part of this news is obvious Pomeranz’ return. If we’re being honest, there’s really not a ton of reason to have high expectations for the lefty right now. He was truly awful when healthy early in the year, combining clearly diminished stuff with poor command. Pomeranz also struggled over most of his rehab time, having just one strong outing his last time out. Even then, according to reports his velocity wasn’t quite back. That being said, it was only year ago that he was the second best starter on a playoff team, so the potential is still there. My expectations will be low, but that’s not the same as saying him being a contributor is impossible.
As for Lin, well, the Red Sox are going back to a short bench for a bit in favor of a 13-man pitching staff. This makes some sense as Lin hasn’t gotten much playing time when Brock Holt is healthy. There are some relievers who could have been sent down instead — Ryan Brasier and Brandon Workman, most notably — but the team is also trying to figure out what they have in their relief depth ahead of the deadline. I’d imagine at some point in the next week or two things will even out with one of the two relievers above being optioned, but for now the team can afford to go with a short bench.