As Middlebrooks recovered from a broken right wrist, which ended his 2012 season prematurely, Longoria knew exactly what the Red Sox third baseman was going through, because he too broke his wrist back in 2008. And despite the still developing rivalry between the two clubs, Longoria offered some advice to his AL East counterpart.
“I pretty much just told him he’s going to be all right. He just needed to give it an ample time to get healthy,” Longoria told reporters on Saturday. “He can’t really push it. I just told him, ‘You’re going to be fine. It’s not something that’s a career-changing injury as long as you’re healthy and you’re right. It’s not going to change the way you play the game.'”
The Red Sox would prefer if Middlebrooks didn’t see too many changes in his game. The 24-year-old hit .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in just 75 games last season before getting hit by a pitch in August and missing the remainder of the season.
Middlebrooks received quite the scare early in spring training when he tweaked his right wrist on a check swing in a game against the Orioles. Fortunately, everything checked out OK and Middlebrooks only missed a few days, but Longoria understands that there may have been some anxiety after first coming back from the injury.
“My wrist hurt every day,” Longoria said of his own injury. “It’s kind of like an arthritic pain for a while. People don’t really understand that you’re not going back to a desk job. You’re trying to use something that was broken to hit a ball coming 95 miles an hour. It’s normal to feel pain. It’s normal to have that kind of soreness. That just takes some time getting used to and understanding how much of a workload you can put on it. But being where he’s at now, you may have a little bit of soreness, but he shouldn’t have anything reoccurring.”
Longoria has been selected to two All-Star Games and has earned two Gold Gloves since his injury. Your move, Will.