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Will Middlebrooks on early struggles: ‘I’m beating myself’

04.18.13 at 4:53 pm ET

Will Middlebrooks

Talking to reporters prior to the Red Sox’ series finale in Cleveland, Will Middlebrooks discussed not being in the lineup against right-hander Zach McAllister.

It is the first day off for Middlebrooks, who is hitting .182, having struck out 18 times while drawing three walks.

“Of course I want to play. I don’t like sitting out,” the third baseman told reporters. “But I can see where this could help to clear my head and get back at it. The team’s done great. The team’s picked me up. The pitching’s picked me up. I tell the guys, ‘I’ll go out there and play defense for you guys. Just keep hitting.’ They’ve had my back. They’ve picked me up. I’m just doing whatever I can to help us out.”

Since his 4-for-5, three-home run game in Toronto April 7, Middlebrooks is 2-for-30 with one RBI.

“I’m just not hitting the ball, man,” he said. “I’m not going to get too down about it. I understand it’s part of the game. We’re 15 games in. … I’m not too worried about it.”

He added, “I’m not going to change my routine. I’m not going to change my approach. I’m not going to change my bats. It’s’ 30 at-bats. I’m not worried about it. … I don’t see anything. I think that’s when you dig yourself into a deeper hole, when you start trying to change things – especially mechanics. I’m not even going to worry about that.”

Middlebrooks has totaled 322 major-league at-bats, hitting .270 with an .804 OPS. Perhaps most impressive is that the Red Sox are 53-36 with him in the lineup.

“I’m not overmatched,” he said. “I’m not getting beat by pitchers. I’m beating myself. It’s just something I’ve got to get through.”

Pedro Ciriaco replaces Middlebrooks in the starting lineup, hitting ninth.

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