BOSTON — Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks arrived at the ballpark Saturday ready for an important day in his injury rehab.
Middlebrooks, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 6 with a Grade 1 calf strain, worked out in the Fenway Park outfield before Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Middlebrooks’ health status after Saturday’s workout could dictate when the third baseman begins his rehab assignment.
“He has another work day scheduled to stress the calf and see how he responds to that,” Farrell said during Saturday’s pregame media availability. “Today is kind of a big day in his progression. If he comes through today in good shape, we could be looking at something Monday (or) Tuesday possibly to get him out (on a rehab assignment).”
Middlebrooks sprinted and did some lunges Saturday as part of his pregame workout. The Red Sox should soon have a better sense of where Middlebrooks is at in his progression, but the 25-year-old appears to be making steady progress in his return from an injury he suffered while sprinting during pregame warmups April 5.
“I felt like I could’ve played (Friday) at a smart level, but there’s no reason to push it yet,” Middlebrooks told CSNNE.com. “I can’t come off (the DL) until (Sunday) anyway. I’m close, though.”
Middlebrooks’ eventual return should provide a major boost to the Red Sox’s struggling offense. Boston recalled Brock Holt and designated Ryan Roberts for assignment Friday in an attempt to spark the unit, but neither player obviously has Middlebrooks’ potential.