Red Sox rookie third baseman, Will Middlebrooks was forced to leave Sunday’s finale against the Seattle Mariners in the bottom of the 10th inning with an apparent hamstring injury suffered while stealing second base. It was first reported as hamstring tightness — a condition that he had experienced earlier in the season, but after the game, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Middlebrooks looked worried about his condition and that the Red Sox should have a better idea of the extent of the damage — whether there has been a tear– and how long he will be out.
This injury comes exactly one week to the day after the Red Sox traded (essentially gave away) veteran, Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox. If the injury keeps Middlebrooks out of action only for a short duration, the Red Sox will use the light hitting Punto and the newly acquired and lighter hitting Lillibridge to fill the position.
Kevin Youkilis would have been a nice insurance policy against an injury to third baseman, Middlebrooks or Adrian Gonzalez, but the trade to the White Sox apparently couldn’t wait despite the fact that the Red Sox got almost nothing in return for the former All Star Youkilis. If the injury keeps Middlebrooks out of action for an extended period of time, ironically, the Red Sox may be forced to acquire a veteran third base man like Casey McGehee or Ty Wiggington.