Middlebrooks hits DL with broken index finger

Middlebrooks hits DL with broken index finger
May 17, 2014, 5:30 pm
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BOSTON - The Red Sox dodged two bullets with Xander Bogaerts' wrist and Shane Victorino's knee, but they were not so fortunate with Will Middlebrooks.

Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after an MRI revealed a fracture to his right index finger.

Red Sox manager John Farrell made the announcement on Saturday prior to the game.

"Will has gone to the DL with a fracture to the right index finger," Farrell said. "He took that line drive off of [Ian] Kinsler's bat last night. It's a non-displaced fracture. He'll be in a splint for 5-7 days and depending on how he responds to treatment after that that's when we'll first look to initiate any baseball activity. So it's hard to say at this point how long he'll be down."

Brock Holt has been called up from Triple-A Pawtucket in his place. It's Middlebrooks' second stint on the DL this season. He missed time in April with a calf injury.

The injury occurred in the first inning Friday night, when Middlebrooks was playing in on Kinsler in case of a bunt. Instead, Kinsler laced a line drive right at Middlebrooks.

"It's a reaction play," Farrell said. "Early in the count like that with a guy like Kinsler against a left-hander, the bunt is always a possibility if you're playing back deep. So you guard against it until there's at least a strike or two in the count. Unfortunately it was a ball that was hooking just enough that got away from the glove and hits him in a bad spot. So the swelling continued to increase throughout the course of the game, and the MRI today revealed that the fracture was there."

Middlebrooks had been struggling mightily at the plate prior to the injury, as he's hitting just .197 on the year with 2 home runs and 9 RBI. Against righties, he's hitting just .143. He was pinch-hit for in the seventh inning Friday night with a righty on the mound for Detroit, a move that Farrell said was both due to the fact the finger started to swell up, and the matchup.

On Saturday, Farrell said the swelling was affecting Middlebrooks' grip on the bat that game. 

Holt has played in seven games for the Red Sox this season, reaching base safely at least once in all seven games. He came up in April when Middlebrooks had the calf injury. His average on the Sox this season is .348, while he's posted the sixth-highest average in the International League this season (.315). All of his appearances with the Sox have been at third base while the majority of his experience with the PawSox has been at shortstop.

Garin Cecchini is the PawSox' usual third baseman, but he isn't quite ready to make the jump to the bigs yet, as Farrell was told.

"The recommendation by all that have either gone though Pawtucket or with the staff there, that was the recommendation made, where defensive work is still developing on [Cecchini's] part."