The Red Sox had another slow day at the plate on Friday, struggling to get much of anything going against the Orioles pitching. Boston managed just two runs and two hits in this one. Tzu-Wei Lin did look good again, though, as did Darwinzon Hernández.
Tzu-Wei Lin highlights rough day for offense
As I said, the Red Sox had just two hits through the entire game on Friday. They did have their best inning pretty early on with Tzu-Wei Lin leading the way in the second. The utility man came to the plate with one out and two on following two straight walks. He ripped a fly ball out to deep left field, coming up just a little short of a home run but still managing a ground rule double. That scored a run and gave Boston a 1-0 lead at the time. That lead obviously wouldn’t last, but it was a nice showing for Lin. He’s had a very good spring to this point and is now up a 1.095 OPS in Grapefruit League action. As we’ve said before, Lin is going to need an injury ahead of him on the depth chart if he’s going to make the Opening Day roster, but he’s going to get a chance at one point or another this season. He’s more than earned the opportunity.
Darwinzon Hernández shows us all of what he can do
Left-handed top prospect Darwinzon Hernández got the start for the Red Sox, and while he wasn’t perfect he showed off why many are so excited about him. Overall he tossed three scoreless innings allowing just a single and striking out four. The single was on a ground ball through the left side, and he’s still yet to allow a ball to leave the infield in the air. The biggest knock against Hernández is his control, though, and that was on display as well. He hit two batters and walked another. Still, even with the control issues there is a huge ceiling for the southpaw, particularly in a relief role. That is the expected outcome, even though he’ll be starting the year as a starter, likely in Portland. Prior to this game, Alex Cora said the team envisioned Hernández contributing in the majors at some point this year after Opening Day but before September.
Cora said before the game that he expects Hernandez to be a big league contributor this year, with an ETA that is after Opening Day but before September.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) March 8, 2019
- Bobby Poyner, Travis Lakins and Mike Shawaryn handled the middled innings, but none of them could make it through their outings unscathed. Poyner allowed a run on three hits, one of which was a solo home run from Renato Núñez. Lakins allowed a pair of runs on a double and a single, and Shawaryn allowed a run on a double, a single and a walk. All three have a chance to see major-league time in 2019, with the first two having the better chance already being on the 40-man roster.
- Jenrry Mejia finished off the day for Boston, pitching a perfect ninth inning with a pair of strikeouts. Mejia, of course, is the former Mets closer who had a lifetime ban lifted this past winter. He’s got a long way to go before having a real chance to contribute in the majors, but he’s on the right track.
- Andrew Benintendi, Steve Pearce and Christian Vázquez all had rough days in the starting lineup. Combined they went 0-9 with four strikeouts. All three are having rough springs, although the samples are obviously small and largely irrelevant.