I have long been saying that Will Middlebrooks is the Boston Red Sox‘ best option at third base.
He still is, but after reading an interview with GM Ben Cherington on Boston.com this morning, I concede they are handling Middlebrooks properly.
In his 53 games with the big league club, he is hitting a terrible .192 with nine home runs. In just 19 games back down at Triple-A, he is hitting .270 and has already connected on six long balls. Coming up through the system, it looked as though Middlebrooks would be about a .300 hitter with 20-25 home run pop. It appears now that he has sacrificed some average for extra power.
Despite Middlebrooks handling the stick really well with Pawtucket, the Cherington has come out to say that the third baseman will be staying in Triple-A for a while.
Boston.com quoted Cherington as saying “the best thing for Will and the best thing for the Red Sox long-term was for him to spend a period of time in Pawtucket and really get back to doing things consistently that he was doing before he got called up last year”.
With the Red Sox currently sitting at the top of the AL East by 3.5 games with just four to play before the All-Star break, it makes sense to keep him down in the minors.
Now, the Triple-A All-Star break does coincide with the MLB All-Star game, so Middlebrooks won’t get any extra at-bats. However, it will allow him to just focus on his game through the break when I am sure the Red Sox will re-evaluate him and make a decision moving forward from there.