The Boston Red Sox announced a series of roster moves, optioning three players to Triple-A Pawtucket and assigning four more to minor league camp.
The Boston Red Sox made a series of roster moves on Saturday as they continue to trim down toward the 25 players who will break camp with the big league team for Opening Day.
Lin provides value with his versatility, bringing a solid glove to several infield positions. The Red Sox are loaded with utility infielders, which made Lin a long shot to open the season in Boston. He has minor league options remaining, while Blake Swihart and Deven Marrero do not. Lin did himself no favors by hitting a paltry .129 in spring training.
Sending both Elias and Scott to the minors means the Red Sox bullpen will be thin on lefties. Manager Alex Cora said earlier this spring that he’s comfortable rolling without a lefty in the bullpen.
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However, Bobby Poyner‘s brilliant spring may have earned him a roster spot. He allowed only one earned run over 9 1/3 innings for a sparkling 0.96 ERA. He allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Cora has yet to confirm Poyner will start the season in the bullpen but the fact that he wasn’t included in today’s roster cuts suggests there is a strong possibility he’ll make the team.
The biggest hurdle in his path is that Poyner was a non-roster invitee. The Red Sox would need to make a 40-man roster move in order for him to join the big league club.
The Red Sox also reassigned catcher Dan Butler, infielder Ivan De Jesus, and outfielders Rusney Castillo and Aneury Tavarez to minor league camp. All four are non-roster invitees to camp who are unlikely to contribute to the major league team this year.
Failing to make the roster despite a solid spring is becoming an annual tradition for Castillo. He hit .319 with a home run and three doubles in 41 at-bats. He’s talented enough to be playing at the major league level.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox can’t offer him a clear path to playing time. Adding his $11.7 million salary back to the roster would push the Red Sox into the deep end of the luxury tax penalties. The steep price simply isn’t worth it for what Castillo could provide in limited playing time.
Depth is vital to the success of any franchise. Injuries are a part of the game and dipping into the minor league affiliates for temporary replacements is almost inevitable. If Lin or either of the lefty relievers perform well in Pawtucket, they could get their name called later this season.