Middlebrooks rockin' and ready to go

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Middlebrooks rockin' and ready to go

FORT MYERS, Fla. After making his big league debut on May 2, Will Middlebrooks hit .288 with 15 home runs, 54 RBI, a .325 on-base percentage, and .509 slugging percentage and was a part of the Rookie of the Year conversation. But his season was cut short after 75 games when he suffered a fractured right wrist after being hit by a pitch Aug. 10. So, it has been refreshing for him to return to the field again.

Phenomenal, he said. Its been about six months since Ive done anything. So it felt great to be out there with the guys and -- not mess around -- we got to work but its fun.

It may be early in camp but its clear there is a different vibe around the team, he said.

Absolutely, he said. I think everyone will say that. Everyones here to work a day at a time right now, get better, and get to where we win ballgames.

I think everyones got a little chip on their shoulder right now, too. Were kind of here to prove the world wrong.

If youre playing for something a little extra, I think youll push a little harder.

Middlebrooks, the Red Sox fifth-round pick in 2007 out of Liberty Eylau High in Texarkana, Texas, said his wrist is fully healed with no limitations.

It was a pretty simple rehab, he said. I was in a cast for eight weeks. I got out and I just did some strengthening things. Its not ligaments, its not tendons. It was bone. So theres not really a whole lot of rehab. It was just kind of a waiting game and yeah Im absolutely 100 percent.

Ive already tested it. Its just hitting and reps and making sure I can deal with the workload of every day of BP (batting practice) and throwing and going into a game. So havent had games yet obviously so well see.

Not that I thought I was going to reinjure it because it wasnt going to happen. But just I knew it would be weak and I didnt want to hurt anything else around it. So just kind of had to ease into it.

With the rest of the position players, Middlebrooks took batting practice Friday, part of the teams first full-squad workout this spring. It was fun, he said, to have the whole team together for the first time.

Thats exactly how it should be, he said. Its a business but at the same time its still a game. Come out here and play like youre 12, 13, thats how I think about it.

Everyone goes their separate way in the offseason. Everyone has different programs. Some guys are rehabbing injuries. So it feels good to come together and just be a baseball team again.

Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays lineups: Porcello goes for win No. 23

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Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays lineups: Porcello goes for win No. 23

The A.L. East-champion Red Sox, still fighting for playoff position, field their usual lineup as they open David Ortiz's final regular-season series tonight (7:10) against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox (92-67) are two games behind the Texas Rangers (94-65) in the race for the best record in the A.L., with the Cleveland Indians (91-67) a half-game behind Boston.

Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.11 ERA), the likely Game 1 starter in the ALDS, will try to add to his Cy Young Award resume tonight. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.53).

The Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles (both 87-72) are tied for the A.L. wild-card lead with the Detroit Tigers (85-73) 1 1/2 games back.

It’s the final regular season series for Oritz, with ceremonies planned to honor the retiring Red Sox DH prior to each of the final three game this weekend. 

The lineups:

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Brock Holt 3B

Mookie Betts RF

David Ortiz DH

Hanely Ramirez 1B

Xander Bogaerts SS

Jackie Bradley CF

Sandy Leon C

Andrew Benintendi LF

Rick Porcello P

 

BLUE JAYS

Eziquiel Carrera LF

Josh Donaldson 3B

Edwin Encarnacion DH

Jose Bautista RF

Russell Martin C

Troy Tulowitzki SS

Justin Smoak 1B

Kevin Pillar CF

Devon Travis 2B

Marco Estrada RHP