Despite the millions of dollars that they reel in on a yearly basis, MLB players are forced to work their rear ends off just to stay at the professional level. Great baseball players of all shapes and sizes have been booted to the minor leagues in the past, so when Will Middlebrooks got the phone call to pack his bags and head to Triple A no one was surprised.
Although he has been a shell of himself in 2013, the ineffective play of Middlebrooks hasn’t held the Boston Red Sox back one bit. Instead, Boston is enjoying a 2.5 game lead in the always competitive AL East. With that being said, Jose Iglesias is a big reason why Middlebrooks’ horrid season hasn’t had that much of an impact. Iglesias has done what Middlebrooks did to Kevin Youkilis last year — Boston dealt away Youkilis last season in response to No. 16’s scorching start.
Perhaps we jumped the gun on Middlebrooks’ stardom, or maybe a back injury is to blame for the third baseman’s scuffles.
On May 24th he was placed on the disabled list and once Middlebrooks returned to action, his numbers were even worse than before. Many are pointing the finger at John Farrell for returning the third baseman to the big leagues after just five rehab starts. In Farrell’s defense, the slugger appeared to be out of his rut as he finished the minor league stint with a .294 batting average.
If in fact the Red Sox see improvement from Middlebrooks once again, then the third baseman will be back at the professional level in no time.