Kevin Youkilis‘ trade to the White Sox on June 24 evoked many emotions from Red Sox fans. Some were sad to see No. 20 take his final bow in a Red Sox uniform, while others were excited for the start of the Will Middlebrooks era in Boston.
The return of Youkilis to the friendly confines of Fenway Park, though, should bring about even more emotion on Monday night as the third baseman returns donning a different shade of Sox. Youk, who will hit second in his return to Fenway, has been on tear since joining the White Sox, hitting .295 with three home runs and 15 RBIs for Chicago.
Middlebrooks, on the other hand, has seen his fair share of peaks and valleys in Youkilis’ absence. The Red Sox’ everyday third baseman has been hot since returning from the All-Star break, though, going 4-for-8 with a home run and four RBIs in the past two games while keeping his average at a cool .301 on the season.
So while Boston prepares to welcome No. 20 back to Fenway, the showdown should pose an interesting scenario as Youkilis and Middlebrooks will be manning the hot corner for opposing teams. That only begs the question as to whether Middlebrooks can ultimately have a better Red Sox career than Youkilis.