As if the Red Sox weren’t already having enough problems scoring runs, the problem just got worse with this morning’s news that third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15 day Disabled List.
An MRI taken of Middlebrooks’ right calf this morning revealed a Grade 1 calf strain, the least serious strain one can have, but nonetheless the Sox decided not to push the slugging third baseman this early in the season. Middlebrooks joins teammate Shane Victorino on the DL.
This loss will severely test the weakened Sox offense. Middlebrooks place on the roster, and likely most of his time at third, will be taken over by infielder Brock Holt, called up from Pawtucket. Holt is an OK utility player, but by no means has Middlebrooks’ thump at the plate.
Both Middlebrooks and Victorino are expected back around April 22 barring complications. With Holt and Jonathan Herrera sharing time at third, the terribly slumping Daniel Nava playing every day, Jackie Bradley playing about half the time, and weak bats behind the plate, the Sox lineup has holes in it up and down.
The timely hitting that marked 2013 has been notably missing in the 5 games to-date. It is far too early to draw long-term conclusions, but the appearance of some booming bats would be welcomed.