Boston Red Sox called up Tzu-Wei Lin from Portland on June 24th and the decision has paid off immensely
When Pablo Sandoval went down again, Sox fans couldn’t say they were surprised. At the same time, with the players that have been called to take his place, the team now finds themselves in better shape without their big acquisition prior to the 2015 season. The Panda signed a 5 year $95 million dollar deal and with two and a half years left on the deal, not many people are going to take a chance at him as he looks just about done.
The Sox have called upon Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin to be the stop gap for Brock Holt who was there for the Kung Fu Panda when he got injured. Unfortunately, Holty got injured and Panda can’t stay healthy which has created the opportunity for the minor leaguers. The latest player to get the call up was Lin, who has been a patient at the plate and a marvel at the hot corner.
The fact that Lin can play multiple positions has really helped as the Sox rely heavily on players that have that kind of versatility. Holt was special because he could play seven of the nine positions. I think if you asked him to catch or pitch, he’d do it for the team if that’s what they needed. Lin can play 2nd base, 3rd base, and short stop. He has experience in the outfield as well.
Lin was able to work three counts last night getting three balls. He walked in his first two at bats and hit a liner back to the pitcher his 3rd time up and also in his 4th at bat, the same result as he grounded out to the 2nd baseman. He finished the night 0/2 with two walks and scored the only run for the Sox. Who knocked him in? Well none other than Marrero. The rookies are finally getting chances and they’re shining.
Marrero has seen his batting average slowly climb from the pedestrian .129 average on May 20th to .194 on May 30th to only struggle and regress back to .154 in mid June. Since then, he’s hit safely in each game in July in which he’s had at least two at bats. Lin shows patience at the plate and it’s that patience that will benefit him and the team going forward.
Opposing pitchers are going to get winded sooner because they’re not going to be able to go into games as long. It makes up for the Hanley Ramirez at bats when he goes down on three straight swings, some of which are not even on the plate. Lin has now walked at least once in each of his last four games with five walks in total. He’s also added two three hit games so far this month.
Lin has established himself as a player that can also handle playing the hot corner. So far in 11 games he’s committed not a single error. He’s played only six games at 3rd base and the small sample size has given John Farrell the confidence to keep putting those two guys out there. Both Marrero and Lin can handle playing 3rd base and 2nd base. Marrero has committed only three errors in 44 games playing the hot corner this season.
If anything has been proven since the call up of both Marrero and Lin, it’s that the Sox do not need the services of Sandoval any longer. It looks like going into the 2nd half of the season, there might be a major shake up as it looks like Sandoval will follow Allen Craig as the next member of the Sox to be given his outright release as a free agent.
Photo Credit – Tim Heitman – USA TODAY Sports