BOSTON -- Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning with a Grade 1 calf strain. (Grade 1 is the mildest of the three grades given to evaluate muscle strains.)
Minor league infielder Brock Holt has been re-called to take Middlebrooks' roster spot.
Middlebrooks had an MRI on Sunday, the results of which led to his placement on the DL.
"MRI did show that he's got a strain in the right calf," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Farrell suggested that Holt and utility man Jonathan Herrera -- who got the start Saturday in place of Middlebrooks and is in the starting lineup again Sunday afternoon -- could share duties at third with Middlebrooks out.
"We'll see what the best matchup might provide with those two guys," Farrell explained.
One of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization is third baseman Garin Cecchini, who is currently putting together an impressive start to the season with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Through three games, he has reached base in seven of his 11 plate appearances and is 5-for-9 with two walks. He's scored twice, driven in three runs, and stolen a base.
Farrell said Sunday that it's still too early to give Cecchini his first big-league call-up.
"While he's had success [in Pawtucket] there's still some development defensively that's taking place," he said. "His time is coming, but it didn't feel like it was right now."
Middlebrooks strained his calf during pregame sprints on Saturday night and was a late scratch. Prior to his injury, he had hits in three of his last six at-bats, including a double and a home run.
"He was disappointed yesterday when he first felt the calf grab him," Farrell said. "Today's exam probably confirms some of the thoughts yesterday with the way he's reacting and responding to the sprints that he went through and then what he felt afterwards. Unfortunately we'll miss a righthanded bat that was getting off to what looked to be a pretty darn good start."
Farrell intimated that Middlebrooks' injury could take longer than 15 days to heal, but that it was impossible to say just one day after it was suffered.
Holt filled in for Middlebrooks at third base for a time last season, platooning with Brandon Snyder. The Red Sox felt at this time that he was a better replacement than Cecchini at this time. A lefthanded hitter, Holt hit .203 with a .275 on-base percentage in 72 plate appearances for the Sox last season.
"Brock is the one that's on the roster," Farrell said. "To get someone here currently to fill that spot . . . whether we look to find a better fit, that's something we're always looking for. Not just in this case, but in every other case. We'll see what transpires over the two-week period that Will's going to miss."