By Jeff Louderback
In a move to bolster the club’s bullpen depth, the Boston Red Sox claimed right-hander Sandy Rosario off waivers from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the 40-man roster, 24-year-old outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin was designated for assignment.
Rosario, 27, made 25 relief appearances (26 innings) for Triple-A New Orleans and posted a 1.04 ERA in 2012. He limited opponents to a .215 average and recorded 24 strikeouts with only two walks. He also had 16 saves.
Signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Marlins in 2004, the 27-year-old Rosario has a 30-18 record with 47 saves and a 3.15 ERA in 181 career minor league games. He has 35 minor league starts to his credit, but Rosario has been solely used as a reliever since 2010.
This year, Rosario posted a 1.04 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP in 25 games and 26 innings at Triple-A New Orleans. He had 24 strikeouts and two walks, limiting opposing hitters to a .215 average.
In his short tenure as general manager of the Red Sox, Ben Cherington has done a proficient job with stockpiling useful relievers. He acquired Clayton Mortensen from the Colorado Rockies for Marco Scutaro before spring training, for example. He also gained hard-throwing right-handers Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz from the Chicago Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein, and landed Jose De La Torre from the Cleveland Indians for utility player Brent Lillibridge.
These are the type of transactions that often seem minor when they are made but have the potential to upgrade the Red Sox bullpen and at the least provide depth at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Signed as an international free agent out of Taiwan in 2007 and named the Futures Game World Team MVP in 2008, Lin made his Major League debut with the Red Sox in 2012 and was 3-for-12 (.250) in nine games. Known for his exceptional speed, outfield defense and strong throwing arm, Lin batted .247 with a .638 OPS and 15 stolen bases in 396 at-bats at Pawtucket this year.
Though he could be outrighted to Pawtucket if he is not picked up by another team, Lin was expendable since the Red Sox have other outfielders who provide more offensive production poised to open the 2013 campaign at Pawtucket, including Bryce Brentz, Ryan Kalish, Jeremy Hazelbaker and J.C. Linares.