Middlebrooks essentially done for season, Ciriaco at third

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Middlebrooks essentially done for season, Ciriaco at third

CLEVELAND The worst fears were realized after rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks was plunked in the right wrist with a 96-mph fastball on Friday night. The stellar young Red Sox slugger will likely be gone for the rest of the regular season with a fractured right wrist, but hell visit with a Cleveland hand specialist to get a final verdict on the injury.

Valentine said theres a small chance Middlebrooks might come back before the end of the regular season, but hell be gone with the wrist injury for the balance of the final 48 games of the regular season. Its something that the Sox manager said theres really no upshot of given how surprisingly good the youngster has been for them this season.

Middlebrooks is hitting .288.325.509 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in 267 at bats as an energizing rookie in the Sox mix.

He had a terrific run with us. Hes a terrific player. I dont think hell be back this year. He might for a short stint, but I couldnt be happier or more proud of what hes done developing into the player he is, said Valentine. Its a damn shame."

I see no silver lining in this."

Now the Sox will have to find a solution between new call-up Danny Valencia, Pedro Ciriaco, Mike Aviles and Nick Punto over the balance of the season.

The Sox are hesitant to move Aviles away from shortstop where hes been excellent this year. It will also be interesting to see what they have in Valencia after Sox GM Ben Cherington made a prudent waiver deal for the ex-Twins third baseman. Ciriaco will get the Saturday night start at the hot corner for the first time with the Red Sox after a pair of shaky appearances there in spring training. Valencia was expected to arrive around 6 pm, and may not be added to the 25-man roster prior to Saturday nights tilt.

Valentine said hes confident Ciriaco can handle it after working diligently over there with infield coachthird base coach Jerry Royster during the course of the season.
Hes been working out there a lot. It wasnt a pretty look during spring training, but he hadnt worked there much prior to that. Royster feels confident that hes worked there enough and can handle it. Im totally on board with that thought.

Here is the Sox starting lineup Saturday against the Indians.

CF Ellsbury
LF Crawford
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
RF Ross
C Saltalamacchia
DH Lavarnway
SS Aviles
3B Ciriaco

LHP Morales

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.