Will Middlebrooks on trade rumors: ‘I have a good opportunity here’
|07.27.13 at 9:09 am ET|
PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Will Middlebrooks can’t remember previously being involved in trade rumors during his professional career. That’s why the last few weeks have been somewhat foreign.
“I have a Twitter (account), but I’m not on it. I’m just trying to keep my nose out of it,” he said prior the Pawtucket Red Sox’ Friday night game at McCoy Stadium. “But I hear from all the guys. I hear about Jake Peavy … I’ve heard Jake Peavy. I’ve heard Cliff Lee.
“All these guys in here who bring it up to me are like, ‘You’re going to get traded to the White Sox. That would be a good opportunity.’ I have a good opportunity here. I don’t need to get traded to have a good opportunity.”
Middlebrooks, whose name was surfaced earlier in the week in regards to trade rumors involving White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy, has found better production – and health – of late while playing for the PawSox.
Prior to going hitless Friday night against Lehigh Valley, the third baseman had managed four straight two-hit games. He enters Saturday night hitting .269 with an .811 OPS and eight home runs with Pawtucket.
While he still has to manage a bulging disc in his lower back, Middlebrooks feels his overall physical conditioning has turned a corner.
“The back stuff is really just starting now to go away,” he said. “I had the DL stint, came off it and I felt better, but it was still there a little bit. Lower back is something that will feel better but a few days later it will flare up again. It’s something I had to learn to take care of. I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent, but this is the best I’ve felt all year.”
Middlebrooks also noted that his mindset had taken a turn for the better from when he struggled to a .192 average and .617 OPS in 53 games with the Red Sox. It’s a different outlook than when he first found himself having to make the drive from his Boston condo to McCoy Stadium on a daily basis.
“You know it’s easy to lose your job, and I was trying not to lose my instead of going out there and just playing baseball,” said the 24-year-old. “I don’t care what other people think. I control what I can control. What other people think doesn’t bother me.”
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