BOSTON — The Red Sox will be without third baseman Will Middlebrooks for more than two weeks.
The Red Sox placed Middlebrooks on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a right calf strain. Infielder Brock Holt has been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Middlebrooks’ place on the Red Sox’s 25-man roster.
Middlebrooks suffered the injury during Saturday’s pregame warmups. The 25-year-old was scratched from the Red Sox’s starting lineup minutes before Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Fenway Park, and an MRI performed Sunday morning revealed Middlebrooks suffered a Grade 1 strain.
Holt and Jonathan Herrera are expected to split time at third base in Middlebrooks’ absence. The Red Sox decided that third base prospect Garin Cecchini needs more time to develop at Triple-A Pawtucket before making the leap to the majors for the first time in his career.
“While he’s had good at-bats there, there’s still some development defensively that’s taking place,” Farrell said of Cecchini. “His time is coming but (we) didn’t feel like it was right now.”
Holt is the first one called up in Middlebrooks’ absence, but he represents an imperfect fit. Holt, unlike Middlebrooks, is a left-handed hitter and Herrera, a switch-hitter, features much better splits from the left side. In other words, having Holt and Herrera is rather redundant, so it’s possible the Red Sox could look elsewhere at some point while trying to fill the void left by Middlebrooks.
“Right now, Brock is the one that’s on the roster to get someone here currently to fill that spot in response to the need to put Will on the DL,” Farrell said Sunday. “Whether we look to find a better fit, that’s something that we’re always looking for — not just in this case but every other case. We’ll see what transpires over the two-week period that Will’s going to be missed.”
Middlebrooks, who struggled for much of 2013, made offensive strides in his last two games before being placed on the DL. Middlebrooks collected two hits in Thursday’s win over the Baltimore Orioles and homered in Friday’s home opener against the Brewers.
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