BOSTON -- Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is hopeful that his 15 days on the disabled list is all he will need to recover from a lower-back strain.
Middlebrooks said Saturday afternoon that he felt better than he did the day before, when he was placed on the DL. That alone gives him confidence going forward.
"I do [think I'll come off the DL when eligible]," he said. "I feel pretty good about it and we've got a good staff in here to help me get going. I feel better than yesterday so if I'm already making steps forward that's where I want to be."
Mired in a season-long slump, Middlebrooks was pulled after four innings Thursday night against Cleveland and placed on the DL the next day. He also had rib issues earlier in the year after a collision with catcher David Ross, and has been unable to get much going at the plate.
Perhaps some time on the shelf will allow Middlebrooks to press the reset button on his 2013 season.
"As far as I go, yeah, I'd like it to restart what I'm doing and I think that'll help us win more games," he said.
Middlebrooks is batting .201 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in 46 games. He is eligible to return to action June 8.