Seemingly the odd man out, as Drew will man shortstop after a rehab assignment and rookie Xander Bogaerts is expected to shift to third base, Middlebrooks said he wants to stay away from talking about the situation. Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured finger on May 17.
Wearing a heavily-wrapped splint on his right index finger Thursday in order to help straighten out the bone, Middlebrooks said he wasn’t told how long the injury could keep him out. Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington said Tuesday that the injury would take “weeks, not days.”
Cherington also didn’t rule out the idea of Middlebrooks changing positions in order to get his bat in the lineup once he returns. Primarily a third baseman, playing 185 of his 188 career games at the position, Middlebrooks also has major league experience at second and first base. With Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli holding down those spots, respectively, a move to the outfield would seem to be the most likely option if any move is made.
Cherington made it clear that the team still has faith in Middlebrooks.
“We know that when he’s healthy and doing the things he’s capable of, there aren’t many third basemen in the big leagues that can do what he does,” Cherington said. “So we’re absolutely committed to try and help him and he’s committed to getting to that point.”
Cherington added: “Obviously he wants to be in the big leagues, he wants to play. We’ve just got to get him healthy first and get him going.”