Will Middlebrooks will be the Boston Red Sox opening day third baseman this season after ending his rookie season early with a arm injury.
Mike Lowell arrived at Red Sox spring training Tuesday morning to help coach Middlebrooks at third. The 38-year-old joins the likes of former Red Sox Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield in Florida.
Lowell spent 2006-10 with the Red Sox, earning World Series MVP honors in 2007. In 612 games, the third baseman batted .290 with a .346 OBP, 80 homers and 374 RBI. He knows his way around the hot corner, winning a Gold Glove at third base when with the Florida Marlins. He played his final game in a Red Sox uniform on Oct. 2, 2010 and was honored with an on-field ceremony during what the Red Sox called “Mike Lowell Day.”
Lowell won’t be in a Red Sox jersey for long due to his commitments with the Marlins and as an analyst for the MLB Network. Even in the short term, the addition of Lowell at Red Sox spring training in some capacity is a welcome sight.
During his 75-game season in 2012, Middlebrooks posted a .949 fielding percentage, which is not bad defensively. He will always have something to learn and has Lowell, whose .974 fielding percentage is the best all time among players who started at least 600 games at third base.
He should come into the season with his offensive abilities and the defensive tweaks learned from Lowell during spring training. Red Sox Nation could potentially have a future Gold Glove third baseman on their hands.
Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google. To read more articles from Justin Soderberg, click here.