Red Sox add three players to 40-man roster

This release from the Red Sox:

The Boston Red Sox today selected left-handed pitcher Drake Britton, outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin and third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the Major League roster from Triple-A Pawtucket. With the moves, the Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 38.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.

Britton, 22, spent the entire 2011 season with High-A Salem. He tied for the team lead with 26 starts while finishing second among Salem pitchers with 89 strikeouts and fourth on the club with 97.2 innings. The left-handed hurler posted a 1-13 record with a 6.91 ERA (75 ER) and 55 walks, holding left-handed hitters to just seven extra-base hits and a .226 clip (21-for-93). In 2010, Britton led Single-A Greenville starters with a 2.97 ERA (25 ER/75.2 IP) and a ratio of 9.28 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (78 K’s).

Lin, who began the 2011 season in Double-A before being promoted to Pawtucket on May 21, hit .245 (114-for-466) with 16 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 36 RBI, 72 runs and 58 walks between the two levels. A right-handed hitter, he combined to rank fifth among Red Sox minor leaguers with 28 stolen bases in 35 attempts, including a team-leading 16 swipes with the PawSox. Boston’s Minor League Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, Lin committed just four errors in 319 total chances this year for a .987 fielding percentage while appearing in 110 games in center field and 10 games in right field.

Middlebrooks spent most of the 2011 season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .302 (112-for-371) with 25 doubles, one triple, 18 homers, 80 RBI and 21 walks in 96 games. The 23-year-old placed among Eastern League leaders in RBI (4th), slugging percentage (4th, .520) and batting average (8th), and was named to both the circuit’s mid- and post-season All-Star teams as well as the Topps Double-A All-Star squad. Including 16 games with Pawtucket in his Triple-A debut to conclude the season and four rehab games with Short-A Lowell, he combined to hit .285 (125-for-439) with 23 homers and tied for the lead among Red Sox farmhands with 94 RBI.

This protects Britton, Lin and Middlebrooks from the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8. Through Britton had a poor season, a young lefty with a good arm is a typical Rule 5 pickup and the team did not want to take that risk.

Of those players left unprotected, lefty Cesar Cabral might be the best. He was claimed by the Rays last year and was with them until the last cut of spring training before being claimed by the Blue Jays and then eventually returned to Boston, where he pitched well for Salem and Portland.

Righthander Caleb Clay, who has jump-started his career in the Arizona Fall League, is another interesting player.


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