It’s been nine days since Jose Iglesias was traded to the Tigers in the deal that brought Jake Peavy to Boston, and it’s still unclear who will be the Red Sox’s primary third baseman for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, there are two players at Triple-A Pawtucket waiting for the phone to ring: Will Middlebrooks and uber-prospect Xander Bogaerts.
The 20-year-old Bogaerts is one of the best prospects in baseball. Red Sox fans are eager to see what he can do at the major league level, even if it means playing a position he’s not used to (he’s a natural shortstop). Bogaerts is hitting .275 in 49 games for the PawSox, with a .302 average and a .786 OPS over his past 10 games.
The 24-year-old Middlebrooks, who started the season at third base for the Red Sox but was demoted after struggling out of the gate, is hitting .259 in 42 games at Pawtucket. He has a paltry .225 average and a .648 OPS over his past 10 games, but has homered in each of his past two games.
The Sox have been consistent since the Iglesias trade, saying they aren’t going to rush either Bogaerts or Middlebrooks to the majors just because there is a perceived hole at the third base position.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was asked Thursday morning whether he’s excited about the prospect of Bogaerts playing in the majors.
“Oh yes, oh yes,” Lucchino told Boston sports radio station WEEI in an interview Thursday morning. “He’s the youngest player in the International League right now, and he’s doing extremely well even though he’s only been there a relatively short time, and he’s got plenty of tools.
“We don’t want to overhype anyone, but if there were someone you’d be tempted to overhype, it would be Xander. He’s a massive specimen and plays the game with a lot of excitement and joy, so it will be great when his time comes. We’re certainly thinking he’s going to be up here at some point this year.”
Rosters expand on Sept. 1, meaning one or both could be called upon in less than a month at the latest. The Sox, however, would need to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Bogaerts before they promoted him.
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