Long-time Boston fan-favorite Kevin Youkilis is in Yankees’ pinstripes, and his replacement might be missing some time this spring and possibly into the season.
Will Middlebrooks, the promising third baseman in Boston, came out of Wednesday’s spring training matchup with division rival, Baltimore Orioles, due to a sore wrist. The scenario didn’t seem very concerning, but the outcome is still unclear.
Middlebrooks missed 48 games during his rookie season campaign in 2012 when he was hit by a pitch by Indians’ pitcher, Esmil Rogers. At the time, the Red Sox medical staff did not feel the 24 year old required surgery and instead he simply missed games.
On Wednesday, Middlebrooks was pulled and it was the same wrist he previously injured. The injury occurred during a check-swing against Orioles’ starter, Chris Tillman and Middlebrooks can be seen flinging his helmet into the dugout as he was removed from spring action and he should be re-evaluated on Thursday.
With Youkilis departed for New York, Middlebrooks is the starting third baseman of the foreseeable future and a big piece of the Red Sox’ immediate plans as a whole. Boston will have to rely on his bat to make an impact with slugger, David Ortiz, getting older and Jacoby Ellsbury heading into a walk-year. It is likely 28-year-old journeyman, Pedro Ciriaco will be the starter until Middlebrooks’ diagnosis becomes clearer and he is back on the field again.
Due to a long list of injuries last season, Ciriaco was able to get 259 ABs for the Red Sox during a 93 loss season and hit .293/.315 with 16 SBs.
Middlebrooks was off to a promising year before his injury in 2012, when he hit .288/.325 with 15 HR, 54 RBI and 14 doubles in 267 AB.