BOSTON – Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, on the disabled list since May 24 with a low back strain, remains with Triple-A Pawtucket, continuing his rehab assignment.
He started at third base Saturday night, going 0-for-3, with a walk, a run scored, and a strikeout. In four rehab games, he is batting .333, going 4-for-12, with three runs scored, two home runs, six RBI, three walks, and three strikeouts.
There is no timetable for him to return to the major league team.
“Not specifically, but soon,” manager John Farrell said. “He had another game last night where there was more timing, good swings, but yet not the results that he’s had. Want to go back to when we outlined this, this wasn't a matter of a batting average to get him back here. We’re just getting him back in the flow of the game and getting some momentum. We’re hopeful to see him soon.”
Jose Iglesias has been playing third in Middlebrooks’ absence. Iglesias’ performance, impressive both in the field and at the plate, will not impact Middlebrooks’ return, Farrell said.
“No and that was outlined at the outset,” Farrell said. “Because we feel what’s best for Will is best for us. And that’s to get him not only with the health things behind him, which everything points to that being the case right now. There’s no more back issue. And for he to get on a little bit of a roll to come back to us. Will’s our third baseman. We have said that. But yet at the same time Jose is doing an excellent job. Once Will's returned and the roster decision is made if the scenario is that Jose is our utility guy then we’ve got to be sure that we rotate hum through to keep him in the mix.”
Farrell has said he would like to get Iglesias at least two games a week in the utility role. But, with the way he has been playing, that could be adjusted to get him more playing time.
“Sure,” Farrell said. “We have to stay flexible.”