One of the positions on the Red Sox roster lacking depth going into the season is third base. The team suffered a major scare in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against Baltimore when starter Will Middlebrooks looked to have suffered an injury to his right wrist.
The second-year third baseman appeared to injure the wrist in his first at-bat against Orioles starter Chris Tillman. Middlebrooks tried to check his swing on a pitch up and in, but after holding up his swing he immediately dropped his bat and clutched his right wrist against his body.
Middlebrooks, 24, was met by the training staff as well as manager John Farrell and then was immediately removed from the game. He then threw his helmet when walking down the dugout steps and into the clubhouse.
It should be noted Middlebrooks missed the final two months of 2012 after being hit by a pitch and breaking the same right wrist last August. The Red Sox announced during the game Middlebrooks left because of “right wrist soreness” and would be re-evaluated Thursday.
Luckily for Middlebrooks and the team, he spoke later during the game saying it was just a scare and no X-rays were needed as he regained the strength in the wrist.
“I have all my strength, we did strength tests, everything is there,” he told reporters. “Like I said it was precautionary and felt weird on the swing. It was just an awkward thing and everything as of now seems fine.”
He hopes to take batting practice Thursday, and is not worried about a possible re-injury. There was no wrap or ice on the wrist when he spoke to reporters.
It should also be noted that there is no real major league depth behind Middlebrooks. Pedro Ciriaco, who replaced Middlebrooks Wednesday, and Brock Holt, 24, are the only two players behind Middlebrooks on the depth chart.
Last year was Ciriaco’s real first extended major league action and Holt, who was traded to Boston along with closer Joel Hanrahan last December, has limited big league experience as well.
Clearly this is a situation to monitor over the coming days, but it seems like Middlebrooks and the Sox dodged a bullet.
Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84.