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Red Sox activate Will Middlebrooks, designate Pedro Ciriaco for assignment

06.10.13 at 2:55 pm ET
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Will Middlebrooks

The Red Sox will activate third baseman Will Middlebrooks prior to the start of Monday’s game in Tampa Bay against the Rays, with the team designating Pedro Ciriaco (who is out of options) for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 25-man roster, according to a major league source. With Middlebrooks back in the lineup (batting eighth), Jose Iglesias — who started everyday at third base in his absence — will be available off the bench.

Ciriaco did not adapt well from his everyday backup role of a year ago to his pure utility/bench role this year. He hit .216/.293/.353 with a cover-your-eyes total of seven errors in 133 innings (the equivalent of 15 full games).

Middlebrooks, of course, struggled for much of the start of the year. He had been starting to heat up in May, drilling extra-base hits with some regularity prior to the lower back inflammation that led him to the DL and opened the door for Iglesias at a new position, but his overall numbers suggest a struggle in 2013: a .201 average, .234 OBP and .408 slugging mark. As such, the Sox wanted him to get enough at-bats to lock in his swing and approach on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket before activating him. It appears that the 24-year-old did that to the team’s satisfaction, and so after five games in which he hit .294/.429/.647 with two homers, four walks and three strikeouts, Middlebrooks is back.

Manager John Farrell was unequivocal in discussing Middlebrooks’ role upon his return.

“Will’s our third baseman,” said Farrell.

Iglesias, in turn, is slated to assume the utility bench role, with Farrell having said that he would need to get at least two starts a week, while leaving open the door for his role to expand beyond that. For a look at Iglesias’ progress this year and how the Sox envision working him into the lineup, click here.

News of Ciriaco’s designation was first reported by the Boston Globe.

Read More: jose iglesias, Pedro Ciriaco, Will Middlebrooks,
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