BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis's impending return raises the question about what the Sox will do with Will Middlebrooks.
The rookie third baseman has had an impact in 10 games, hitting .310 with 4 homers and 13 RBI in 10 games. He has an OBP of .356 and a slugging percentage of .714.
"I think that's a little premature,'' said manager Bobby Valentine. "We'll do exactly what's right. Those things usually play themselves out. There's no need to make a decision until it's time to make a decision.''
Valentine was asked whether, in general, he believes young players are better off playing regularly at the minor league level as opposed to sitting on the bench in the big leagues, getting only occasional at-bats.
"Sitting on the bench is not a good place for very many players,'' said Valentine, "especially good young, talented players. What would be the purpose of having someone sitting the bench unless there was a useful purpose for him, not being in the starting role but also being able to contribute to the team wins? Now, is there a place for him to do that? I'm not sure."