Kevin Youkilis makes his return to Boston with the White Sox
It will be a homecoming of sorts Monday (7 p.m., NESN) at Fenway Park as nine-year member of the Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis, will make his return to Boston just three weeks after being dealt to the White Sox.
When Youkilis missed a significant amount of time early in the season with a back injury, Will Middlebrooks was called up from Pawtucket to fill the void at third base.
Middlebrooks made the most of his opportunity by hitting .316 with six home runs in the month of May alone.
When Youkilis returned from the disabled list in late May, manager Bobby Valentine was forced to juggle the line up day in and day out to give the two players adequate playing time.
This move forced other players into positions they weren’t accustomed to playing.
Middlebrooks continued to swing the bat well, while Youkilis struggled, hitting just .233 with four home runs in 42 games with the Red Sox.
It became apparent a move needed to be made, and that is what the Red Sox did on June 24 when they sent Youkilis to the White Sox in exchange for utility man Brent Lillibridge and minor league pitcher Zach Stewart.
The change in scenery has truly benefitted Youkilis, as the third baseman is hitting .295 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in just 16 games with the White Sox. He even earned the AL Player of the Week award for the week prior to the All-Star break.
Meanwhile, Middlebrooks’ productivity has dropped a bit since the trade, partly due to a hamstring injury, which forced him to miss the entire final series before the All-Star break.
With the ovation Youkilis got after exiting his last game in a Red Sox uniform three weeks ago, it should be quite the scene tonight when the two-time World Series champion steps to the plate, back in the batters box he called home for nine seasons.