With the news that Jacoby Ellsbury will miss at least six weeks with a dislocated shoulder the Red Sox will have a hole in centerfield until at least June.
The injury happened when Ellsbury was making a takeout slide into second base. He took out Ray's shortstop Reid Brignac but Brignac came down on Ellsbury's shoulder at the end of the play.
The injury opens the door in the outfield to Cody Ross, who has been on the Red Sox bench this season, or perhaps Che-Hsuan Lin, a Taiwanese prospect who was called up following the injury and could make his major league debut sometime during the injury.
Ross is a 31-year-old journeyman who plays all three outfield positions. He has spent time with the Dodgers, Reds, Marlins and Giants over his career, including a four year stretch as the starting center fielder for the Marlins and Giants from 2008-2011.
Ross is a lifetime .260 hitter with decent power; he has topped the 20 homerun mark twice. He's not going to set Fenway Park on fire but he should be a dependable fill-in for Ellsbury.
The Sox other option, Lin, is much more intriguing. Signed as a free agent out of Taiwan at age 18, Lin has spent his entire career in the Red Sox minor league system. In 85 games at AAA last season he only hit .235, but he had 11 doubles and stole 16 bases.
He was only 3-20 through his first 6 games in Pawtucket this season before he was called up, but he does have a double and a homer in those three hits, as well as three walks.
The 23-year-old Lin's game is speed. He is a prototypical leadoff hitter/centerfielder. He's rangy at 6', 180 pounds, but uses his speed on the basepaths and on defense to make plays others could not.
Scouts project Lin to be a bench player at the major league level, but this will be Boston's first chance to test those projections in real major league game action. His home country thinks rather highly of him as he was included on their World Baseball Classic roster at age 19.
It doesn't seem likely but maybe Boston will be in for their own dose of Linsanity.