Sox promote Middlebrooks to Pawtucket

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Red Sox third base prospect Will Middlebrooks was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.

Middlebrooks, 22, was hitting .302 in 96 games at Double-A Portland with 18 homers and 80 RBIs. He also hit .364 with runners in scoring position, including a .391 average with RISP with two outs.

Middlebrooks is currently ranked as the top prospect in the Red Sox system by SoxProspects.com.

The Red Sox also signed left-handed pitcher Greg Smith as a free agent. He will start for the PawSox tonight against the Columbus Clippers at McCoy Stadium.

Smith, 27, had been with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from mid-June through mid-August, posting a 3-3 mark with a 4.84 ERA in 13 games (10 starts). Smith has pitched in the big leagues with Oakland in 2008 (7-16, 4.16 in 32 GS) and Colorado in 2010 (1-2, 6.23 in 8 GS). The LSU product has a 38-26 record and a 4.13 ERA in 102 minor league games.