Since he returned to the Red Sox lineup on August 10, Will Middlebrooks has gone 8-for-20 for the squad, a .400 clip that seemed unfathomable (even in a small period of time) when the third basemen was optioned down to Pawtucket in late June hitting a paltry .192 at the plate.
Has this been enough of a sample size to prove that Middlebrooks is back to his 2012 form though?
The guys on The Baseball Show took a look at this topic on Saturday. Sean McAdam, for one, is impressed with what he has seen from Middlebrooks in his return but still agrees with the team's strategy to ease him back into the batting rotation.
"He's hit safely in every game that he's been back, I think it's smart to keep him for now to keep him in the bottom of the order and not have him be the guy that you say 'Oh come on we need you here'," McAdam said. "He's had better at bats, he's had a hit in every game back and I think that's the way to go with him, to build it up so that it's natural for him."
The low pressure approach, at least so far, is doing wonders for the 24-year-old. It was just a year ago he busted onto the scene with 24 home runs and 81 RBIs in 134 games.
So, again, has that form been recaptured? Lou Merloni is skeptical in that point, yet the believes the Sox are getting more value at the position than with Jose Iglesias.
"At the plate, it's still a wait and see. He comes out and he's always 5 for his first 12 and the last two at bats in that Toronto game were outstanding and the first two were miserable, so it's still a work in progress with him," Merloni said. "But he's giving you more at third base than what you were getting for sure."