Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Who's on deck: What's the latest with Tzu-Wei Lin?

Cameron Kerry
June 08, 2018 - 10:51 am

Red Sox fans have seen glimpses of Tzu-Wei Lin, but not enough to justify writing him off or warranting a permanent call-up. Lin has driven up I-95 mostly to fill in for injured infielders. Lin's versatility allows him to play multiple positions across the diamond.

Lin has played in 14 games for the big-league club this season, batting a lowly .188. In 39 career games with the Red Sox, Lin owns an average of .239, a slight tick below his career minor league average of .243. In 28 games in Pawtucket this season, Lin is batting .280 with .430 slugging percentage, up almost 100 points above his minor league career average. His resurgence in Pawtucket begs the question, does Lin have a future in Boston?

Lin's projection limits him to no more than a utility reserve player. His strong defensive instincts, coupled with above-average speed and soft hands, make Lin a more than capable fielder. is downside is that he struggles to put in the ball in the air. Lin's power is well below-average, as he averages one home run every 104 at bats in the minors. 

While Lin's offensive numbers remain well above his career averages, the Taiwanese utility man has played just under a month of action at the Triple-A level. He needs to continue to produce solid offensive numbers to prove to the Red Sox that he can be a contributor at the highest level.

Without a slew of injuries, it is hard to imagine Lin finding a place on the Red Sox's depth chart. Brock Holt can play every position, diminishing the need for another Swiss Army knife player on the bench. Once Dustin Pedroia returns from the disabled list, Eduardo Nunez will no longer start, adding more infield depth to the reserves.

With a strong remainder of the season at the plate, Lin could warrant a spot in Boston next season. Before then, the injury would need to strike in order to authorize a second stint with the Sox in 2018. 

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