Updates from Sunday, July 20
I think there’s been a little confusion with some of the messages that’s been interpreted that he’s going to be activated this weekend or the same time (as Victorino). I think the one thing that we want to be sure of (is) that Will continues to get everyday at-bats, and for the time being, that’ll take place at Pawtucket.
Updates from Friday, June 27
ESPN's Gordon Edes has a discouraging update for Middlebrooks:
Sox have shut off clock on Victorino, Middlebrooks rehab assignments. No baseball activity for either. Real setback— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) June 27, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 15
ESPN's Joe McDonald provides a synopsis of Red Sox manager John Farrell discussing Will Middlebrooks' status:
Farrell says once Middlebrooks is healthy they might give him a look in the outfield.— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) June 15, 2014
Middlebrooks and Victorino are both here today but they will return to Pawtucket on Monday to continue rehab stints.— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) June 15, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, June 11
ESPN's Gordon Edes has an update on Middlebrooks' progress:
Middlebrooks to begin rehab assignment Friday in Pawtucket, Victorino sometime this weekend— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) June 11, 2014
It has been a nightmarish start to the season for 25-year-old Will Middlebrooks, and it's about to get even worse.
According WEEI.com's Alex Speier, the Red Sox have placed the third baseman on the disabled list with a fractured finger:
Will Middlebrooks to DL with fractured finger— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 17, 2014
Speier provides comments from Middlebrooks:
“It’s been a long couple years. I’ve got to hang in there. Things will turn around — hopefully,” said Middlebrooks. “Just keep grinding it out.”
The play on which Middlebrooks suffered the fracture was unusual. With Middlebrooks drawn in to protect against a bunt, Kinsler smoked a ball at the third baseman.
“[Kinsler is] a guy, he’ll drop one down if you’re back. So I was playing up pretty close and he hit a screamer at me, obviously. It had some topspin. Kind of went with both hands for some reason to try to catch it. It went under my glove and just smoked me in the finger,” said Middlebrooks. “I thought it just bruised me, jammed me pretty good. It kept swelling and kept swelling throughout the game, and by the eighth I couldn’t get batting gloves on.”
“I think I’m pretty due for [a change of fortunes],” said Middlebrooks. “We’ll see.”
As he showed during his rookie campaign in 2012, Middlebrooks has immense talent. But he has struggled to find consistency ever since and is hitting just .197/.305/.324 with a brutal 28.1 strikeout percentage on the season after already spending time on the disabled list with a strained calf.
Manager John Farrell recently talked about the importance of getting the youngster going at the plate, via the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman:
We’ll see — we certainly need him to get going. The bottom third of that order has got to find a way to contribute a little more than it’s been. So hopefully today is a chance to jump-start it somewhat for Will.
Some, such as USA Today's Mike Loyko, haven't been nearly as optimistic and believe Middlebrooks' future with the team may be in jeopardy:
Will Middlebrooks back on the DL. The writing is on the wall for him, the Red Sox can do much much better than the K machine.— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) May 17, 2014
In his stead, Brock Holt has been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and will take over at the hot corner starting Saturday, as Speier noted:
Holt in lineup batting ninth, playing third pic.twitter.com/t9jtS3aYIf— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 17, 2014
Holt is hitting .348/.429/.435 in 28 plate appearances for the Red Sox this season. With Middlebrooks struggling and the Red Sox near the bottom of the AL in batting average, the former Pittsburgh Pirate has a real chance to carve out a significant role going forward.
As for Middlebrooks, he will just be hoping this newest stint on the sideline gives him time to clear his head.