The report came in the form of a tweet no Red Sox fan wanted to see:
Source: Will Middlebrooks has a broken wrist. #RedSox will call up Danny Valencia forSaturday's game.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) August 11, 2012
If the reports turn out to be true, the Red Sox’ season is all but over. It also leaves a huge hole over at third base.
With Middlebrooks' injury comes an opportunity—an opportunity in the name of Jose Iglesias. Valencia will be a fine fill-in for a game or two—but that's about it.
The Red Sox have nothing to lose at this point by giving their young prospects a taste of the big leagues. The next prospect who should get a long term shot in Boston is Iglesias.
The only thing that ever kept Iglesias in Pawtucket was his bat. But he seems to have found a respectable swing down in Triple-A.
In Pawtucket he is hitting .259, with a home run and 23 RBI. He also has three doubles over his last four games. If he can even come close to matching those numbers in the majors, the Red Sox would truly have something special on their hands.
Most Red Sox fans have heard about his magician-like defense by now—and for good reason.
According to SoxProspects.com Iglesias “will get to balls that most, if not all, will not. Plus, accurate arm. Adept at throwing on the move and has outstanding body control. Future perennial Gold Glove shortstop.”
Mike Aviles could be used at third base for the remainder of the season, or the Red Sox could experiment with Pedro Ciriaco third.
The Red Sox simply are not going to replace the offense Middlebrooks gave them. In 75 games, MIddlebrooks hit .288, with 15 homes runs and 54 RBI. But they could greatly improve their infield defense with Iglesias on the field.
It would also add a level of intrigue to a season that is quickly crashing and burning. Any spin the Red Sox put on the rest of the season would simply be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s time to let it go.
The Red Sox should not wait any longer to call Iglesias up. It’s time. The future is knocking on the door. It’s time the front office let it in.