Bobby Valentine Plans to Ride ‘Hot Hand’ Will Middlebrooks at Third Base, Will Bench Kevin Youkilis for Now

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Bobby Valentine Plans to Ride 'Hot Hand' Will Middlebrooks at Third Base, Will Bench Kevin Youkilis for NowBOSTON — The indecision around third base has continued.

In fact, the flip-flopping between Will Middlebrooks and Kevin Youkilis doesn’t have any clarity. For the time being, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine expressed his intention to ride the “hot hand” at third base.

It starts on Friday with Middlebrooks, who will make his second straight start in the infield. During the past two games, the 23-year-old has been scorching at the plate, going 4-for-5 with six RBIs.

As a result of the decision, Valentine chatted with Youkilis to explain the rationale behind the approach.

“He doesn’t necessarily totally agree with it, doesn’t wake up in the morning and hope that’s the case,” Valentine said of Youkilis. “But I think the professional person that Kevin is, understands it.”

For now, that means Youkilis will find himself on the bench in favor of the red-hot Middlebrooks. Through 41 games, the Red Sox third baseman has struggled, hitting just four home runs and 13 RBIs with a .225 batting average.

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