By Jeff Louderback
Should the Red Sox have left Will Middlebrooks on his rehab assignment in Pawtucket a bit longer? The 24-year-old third baseman, who was activated from the disabled list on Monday after recovering from a lower back strain, was 1-for-7 with an RBI single in Boston’s 10-8 victory in 14 innings at Tampa Bay last night.
To make room for Middlebrooks, utility infielder Pedro Ciriaco was designated for assignment. The 27-year-old Ciriaco was batting just .217 and had committed seven errors in limited time at shortstop and third base.
Middlebrooks, who is now batting .199 with eight home runs and 22 RBI, was 5-for-27 with two home runs and six RBI in five games at Pawtucket. He was eligible for return form the DL last Saturday, but Red Sox manager John Farrell told the media that he wanted the right-handed slugger to spend more time in Triple-A improving his plate approach.
Middlebrooks’ return has moved Jose Iglesias to a utility infielder role. The 23-year-old Iglesias is batting .446 (33-for-74) with a surprising .581 slugging percentage, 1.075 OPS and 13-game hitting streak.
The defensively superb Iglesias will play at least three times a week between shortstop and third base, Farrell said. Shortstop Stephen Drew is hitting just .232 after a 1-for-6 performance last night.