Red Sox top prospect Will Middlebrooks, after returning to the Pawtucket lineup from a jammed thumb and going 0-for-4 on Tuesday, could receive a summons to the majors as soon as Wednesday, according to an industry source. With Kevin Youkilis having been sidelined for the past three games due to a stiff back and having been relegated to no more than decoy duty (he stepped into the on-deck circle as a potential pinch-hitter for Lars Anderson in an effort to deter Oakland from using a left-handed reliever against the left-handed Anderson) in Tuesday's game, the Sox have a need at third base, where Nick Punto has started the last two games.
The thumb issue prevented the Sox from calling up Middlebrooks on Tuesday. Instead, it was shortstop Jose Iglesias who was summoned from the minors to offer insurance in the Sox infield.
But Middlebrooks was determined to be healthy in his game in Toledo on Tuesday, and so he is available for a call-up today pending a medical determination on Youkilis. Assuming that Youkilis remains sidelined, it appears likely that the 23-year-old -- who is hitting .333 with a .380 OBP, .677 slugging mark and 1.057 OPS, along with nine homers in 24 games -- will be in line for his first major league summons.
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