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Middlebrooks eager to be back at third

7/31/2014

BOSTON -- With Stephen Drew traded to the New York Yankees, Xander Bogaerts will move back to shortstop and Will Middlebrooks, who will be activated from the disabled list, will start at third base.

“I’m happy to be back, but I’m still in shock of everybody being gone,” Middlebrooks told ESPNBoston.com. “It’s going to be different. It’s going to be like spring training, having a whole new team. I don’t know what to expect. I’m just excited to be back here, playing baseball at Fenway.”

Middlebrooks recently completed his 20-day rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket, which was his fourth rehab stint with the PawSox this season. He was 11-for-48 with three homers and four RBIs in 12 games during his most recent stint, which began on July 18. He’s been on the DL since May 17 after suffering a fractured right index finger. At the time of the injury, he was batting .197 with two homers and nine RBIs in 21 games for the Red Sox.

“I’m feeling a lot better and I’m excited to get out there and be healthy and be able to show what I can do,” Middlebrooks said at Clay Buchholz’s charity event Thursday.

With the addition of Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig, and the likelihood right fielder Shane Victorino landing back on the DL, Jackie Bradley Jr. will have two new corner outfielders on each side of him.

“He’s great. He’s a great player,” Bradley said of Cespedes. “He’s definitely going to be able to help our team out. I’m looking forward to playing alongside him, yes sir.”