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Will Middlebrooks remaining in Pawtucket … for now

06.05.13 at 8:31 pm ET
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Boston Red Sox third basemen Will Middlebrooks kicked off his rehab assignment Tuesday night in Pawtucket and although he is eligible to return to Boston Saturday, it is unclear if he will do so right away.  Manager John  Farrell did not offer a set timeline for his return, rather hinting that Middlebrooks may remain in Pawtucket to gain some offensive momentum before returning to Boston.

Prior to the Red Sox’ game with the Rangers Wednesday night, Farrell  told the media, “This is not only a chance to make sure his health issue is behind him, which everything points to that being the case, but also to use this as an opportunity to get some momentum going before he gets back. Hopefully that is sooner rather than later.”

While the Red Sox offense has been productive as of late, Farrell stressed the importance of Will Middlebrooks’ right-handed bat returning to the lineup to balance out the lefty-heavy presence.  Farrell added, “[Middlebrooks] is a vital part of that.”

Middlebrooks was hitting just .201 before going on the disabled list, but was having more consistent and positive at-bats before his injury. “When he sees the ball deeper in the zone and drives it the other way,” Farrell said, “that’s when he’s at his best, and that was starting to happen.”

In the first game of his rehab assignment, Middlebrooks was 1-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. However, Farrell said that a promotion to Boston won’t be based off on batting average or numbers. “If Will goes down and is just being Will Middlebrooks,” the manger, “he’ll find his way back here because that’s the type of player he is.”

Jose Iglesias recent offensive surge since being called up has provided the Red Sox with offensive production from the third base position, however Farrell indicated that Iglesias’ success won’t play a factor in Middlebrooks’ return. “I wouldn’t say this is predicated just on what Jose is doing,” he said.  “What’s best for Will is best for us.  He [Will] is our third basemen.”

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