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The Boston Red Sox suffered another blow on Friday night, as rookie third baseball Will Middlebrooks was struck by a 96-MPH fastball from Cleveland Indians pitcher Esmil Rogers, reportedly fracturing his right wrist.
The 23-year old third baseman was hitting .292 with 15 home runs and 54 runs batted in. The team has dealt with injuries at nearly every position this year, and the loss of Middlebrooks will be another tough hurdle. While offense hasn’t been the problem for the most part this year, replacing Middlebrooks could be problematic.
Boston will call up Danny Valencia, a 27-year old third baseman acquired on August 5th from the Minnesota Twins. Here’s a look at the transaction, which looks like an even stronger move now with Middlebrooks going down.
However Valencia has struggled mightily since finishing third in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2010. This year he’s hitting .198, and if that doesn’t significantly turn around the Sox will be using a weak left side of the infield with Mike Aviles at shortstop for the remainder of the season, assuming Middlebrooks is unable to return.
With slugger David Ortiz set to return in the coming days from his Achilles injury, Middlebrook’s fractured wrist serves as yet another reminder of how the lineup has truly never been complete all season long.