When the Boston Red Sox made that phone call to Stephen Drew, it served two purposes. For one, it gave them for depth in the infield. Second, it moves Xander Boagerts over to play third base. However, if you sit back and think about it, the writing is on the wall. Will Middlebrooks is no longer an option for the Red Sox.
When Middlebrooks made his Red Sox debut in 2012, he looked like a real star of the future. In 75 games, Middlebrooks hit .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs. A solid start for the Red Sox third baseman.
In 2013, Middlebrooks could have been named mayor. During the second series of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays, Middlebrooks went 6-for-13 with four home runs and five RBIs. Three of those home runs came in a single game. It was quite the first impression to kick off 2013.
Middlebrooks was also a huge key factor in helping bring the city of Boston together after the horrific bombings during the 2013 Boston Marathon. After the events, Middlebrooks coined the phrase “Boston Strong.” This phrase would gain a life of its own and live in the hearts of the Boston faithful.
Unfortunately, the decline of Middlebrooks began as well. Middlebrooks ended the 2013 season with a .227 average with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs. The power was there, but so were the injuries and low average.
The 2014 campaign hasn’t been much of a success either. On the disabled list for the second time this season, Middlebrooks is currently hitting .197 with only two home runs and nine RBIs. With Bogaerts officially sliding over to third base, this leaves no room on the roster for Middlebrooks. So what exactly does the future hold for the 25-year-old?
It’s quite apparent that the Red Sox are sticking with Bogaerts. This is one of their prized prospects who they will continue to groom to be a mainstay in the middle infield. With that being said, Middlebrooks could now become available on the trading block. The Miami Marlins have showed interest in Middlebrooks before and this could spark more trade rumors for the Red Sox. Middlebrooks has had his fair share of struggles, but he does remain talented and possess raw power. Some scouts have said he’s completely capable of hitting 30 home runs a season if healthy. It’s just a question of if a team will give him that chance.
I’m personally disappointed that this might be the end of the road. Being such a fan of the game, I hate seeing talented players not able to show it in the majors. Middlebrooks may just be one of those players.
Follow Steve Buchanan on Twitter: @SBuchanan24.