BOSTON -- Stephen Drew's return bumped one young Red Sox up-and-comer off of his normal position, and soon it may be two.
The addition of Drew shifted rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts over to third base, which could have a continued domino effect of its own: When third baseman Will Middlebrooks is healthy, where will he fit in?
Red Sox manager John Farrell said on Sunday morning that Middlebrooks could get some experience in the outfield during his rehab assignment in Triple A Pawtucket.
The intent is for Middlebrooks to get a majority of playing time at third base and as a designated hitter. In a week or so, however, the club may try him in the outfield "just to answer any questions of flexibility that we can before a decision on the roster is to be made," Farrell explained. "If that gives us ability to find at-bats for Will if he were to come back here in that capacity, so be it."
Out since mid-May with an injured finger, Middlebrooks began his time in Pawtucket on Friday. After a day off on Sunday, he'll be back with the PawSox on Monday.
Middlebrooks also missed 20 days in April with an injured calf. Farrell suggested on Friday night that since Middlebrooks has had such a herky-jerky season on and off the big-league roster that the 25-year-old could be in Triple A for the maximum number of 20 days to find his timing.
"I'm not saying we're gonna use every day of that, but we've got to get him going and get the righthanded power bat that we know and believe and trust is still there," Farrell said on Friday.