As all of Red Sox Nation knows Dustin Pedroia is hurt. He tore his abductor in his right thumb while swinging. This the same injury that sidelined Kevin Youkilis for the end of the of the 2010 season. The only reason Pedroia doesn’t need surgery, like Youk did, is because Youk’s abductor was torn off the bone because he continued to play with it. So Pedroia doesn’t end up with the same fate as Youk, he’s taking a few games off, but we don’t know how long he’ll be held out. While he’s out Nick Punto has been given the role of second base, but his struggles at the plate have made him a bit of a liability. I have an idea that may seem crazy, but it very well could solve multiple problems. Will Middlebrooks is the answer. Now immediately you think I’m crazy, but it’s not really far-fetched at all. He hardly, if ever, played anywhere but shortstop and pitcher in high school and college, but the Red Sox moved to third while playing at Class-A. He’s a natural shortstop, so second shouldn’t be too much of a challenge even if he hasn’t played middle infield for a while. This not only would solve the second base issue, but the third base one as well. Without Middlebrooks pushing Youk to third and Gonzalez to right you don’t have to sacrifice speed in the outfield, which has at times hurt us. This gives the Sox’s the ability to give them the best hitting lineup they can every night. If this idea was presented to Bobby V, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went with it, because he loves unique ways to make the team better. Personally I love the idea, but I’m not so sure it will happen but it would work.
UPDATE: Apparently Bobby V discussed this possibility before the game today, so it could happen.
Yesterday the Red Sox recalled Aaron Cook, Jose Iglesias, and Will Middlebrooks from AAA. They also optioned Junichi Tazawa and Lars Anderson to AAA and placed Kevin Youkilis on the DL. Will Middlebrooks is expected to play third base in the absence of Youk. If you don’t already know, Middlebrooks is the top prospect in the Sox’s farm system. He was tearing up AAA pitching is April and many fans have been hoping to see him called up. Although he’s only expected to stay until Youk is reinstated from the DL, but there’s reason to believe he might over stay his welcome.
Will Middlebrooks is a near complete hitter. He can hit to all fields, but has a lot more power to his pull field. He also tends to expand the strike zone and chase pitches, especially fastballs up. Yesterday, in his debut, he was able to show patience by drawing a walk so he might be more patient at the big league level when he knows he’s not going to be able to handle all of those pitches.
If Middlebrooks can consistently play like he did last night (2 for 3 with a walk) he could find himself staying on the big league roster for a long time. He could end up being very valuable in keeping Youk healthy by having a trusted bat slid into the lineup when Youk is taking an off day which will be frequent. Although Middlebrooks is over hyped, he does has the skill to develop into the player that many project he will be one day. He’s a reason now to get excited even if his first stay isn’t for long.