Meet your Red Sox third-string catcher, Tzu-Wei Lin

Rob Bradford
April 23, 2019 - 12:01 pm

Christian Vazquez only got one start at designated hitter in the entire 2018 season. That came on June 7 against Detroit pitcher Matthew Boyd.

It was the kind of lineup luxury afforded Red Sox manager Alex Cora for much of the season because he was carrying three catchers, with the presence of Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart.

Vazquez is getting another shot at DH in Game 1 of his team's doubleheader Tuesday afternoon. Coincidentally enough it will be while going up against the same Tigers lefty. The difference this time? There is really only one other catcher - Leon - at Cora's disposal.

There is a plan, however, if something happens to either backstop. That's where Tzu-Wei Lin comes into play.

"It’s something to get used to," said Cora of only having two catchers. "We have Lin now, so he can be our third catcher. Early in the season, there was a game in Arizona, I think, no, Oakland. I was like who’s going to be catcher? I didn’t have too many volunteers to say the least. So Lin will be the third catcher."

Lin has not served as a catcher for any official minor league or major league game. But the Red Sox have immersed the infielder in that world at least a bit on the backfields in spring training.

"Enough that he can do it," said Cora when asked about Lin's experience as a catcher. "He’s worked with Tek (Jason Varitek) before. So he’ll be OK.

Cora added, "He worked with Tek when people were down and all that. We’re not comfortable with it but it’s one that we have to get used to it. It’s not the roster we had last year. Last year we had the freedom to do whatever you want in that spot and with them early or late."