BOSTON -- Will Middlebrooks had himself quite a night in Pawtucket while the Red Sox were celebrating another walk-off win.
The third baseman, who was optioned to the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate last Tuesday, went off against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs and a PawSox team record-tying eight RBI in Wednesday night’s 11-5 win at McCoy Stadium.
Despite the eye-popping display, Red Sox manager John Farrell maintained perspective on Middlebrooks’ objectives in Rhode Island: putting in “a number of good swings.”
“Obviously, the two home runs, the eight RBI, all those add up to his bat path through the strike zone, [that’s] when he’s at his best,” Farrell said before Thursday’s Fourth of July matinee. “A couple of home runs to straightaway center and right-center. Obviously, [it was] a very good day for him.”
With that being said, Farrell declined to put any kind of timetable on a Fenway return for Middlebrooks, who isn't eligible to be recalled until Friday, as Major Lague Baseball rules stipulate that a player must stay in the minor leagues for 10 days after being sent down (unless he's recalled to replace another player who goes on the disabled list, bereavement list, paternity list, etc.).
“As it was outlined to Will when he was optioned down, he’s on an option,” Farrell said. “[That is] very, very different than a rehab assignment where there’s an end date in mind. He’s there to get on the roll that we are confident he will.”