Though he is now eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis continues to work his way back from the lower back strain that sidelined him late in April and rendered him unable to engage in baseball activities until the past couple of days. That being the case, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said there was no need to make a decision about what will happen with playing time for both Youkilis and rookie Will Middlebrooks when the veteran is ready to be activated.
"I think that’s a little premature," said Valentine. We’ll do exactly what’s right. Those things, they usually play themselves out. No need to really make a decision until it’s time to make a decision."
In 18 games this year, Youkilis is hitting .219 with a .292 OBP, .344 slugging mark, .635 OPS, two homers and four extra-base hits. In 10 games since being called up from Pawtucket, Middlebrooks is hitting .310/.356/.714/1.070 with four homers and nine extra-base hits.
Valentine was asked whether it would be constructive to have a young player such as Middlebrooks serve in a part-time role at this stage of his development.
"Sitting on the bench is not the place for very many players, especially good young talented players. What would be the purpose of having someone sit the bench unless there was a useful purpose not being in the starting role but also being able to contribute to the team’s wins?" said Valentine. "Now is there a place for [Middlebrooks] to do that? I’m not sure."
As for Youkilis, Valentine said that the veteran is showing improvement as he progresses in his baseball activities, though he was not able to say when he will be ready to be activated from the DL.
"He looked pretty good taking groundballs today. I wouldn’t think he’s very far away. He took 10 swings on a soft toss and about 30 dry swings. He’s going to hit some balls today. He looked really good moving around. I mean, he looked really good moving around," said Valentine. "I have no idea [when he'll be activated. Whenever the medical and Kevin say he’s ready. All I’m saying is my eyes saw him take some groundballs, he looked good throwing, fielding."
For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
Dr. Tony Schena joined the show to give insight into what lies ahead for Rob Gronkowski. He said a tough road is in front of the Patriots tight end.
We discuss the improbable win over the Browns and the loss of Rob Gronkowski with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday.
Ninkovich sits in with Mut and Merloni to look back at yesterday’s comeback win against the Browns. Rob also explains the range of emotions the team experienced after Rob Gronkowski suffered a potentially season ending injury.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Buster joins Mut and Merloni live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Buster explains that the market for Stephen Drew has cooled off considerably and executives around the league believe he will return to Boston.
Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.
Cherington sits in with Mut and Lou to talk about the Red Sox heading into 2014. Ben breaks down the signing of Edward Mujica and what’s on the table at this year’s meetings.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Boston College running back Andre Williams joined the show and discussed his record setting season. He said that he will work on his acceptance speech on the flight down to New York.
Mike Mutnansky joined the show live from Orlando. He said that he is looking forward to hearing from Scott Boras later today.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys talked about our presidents selfie at the Mandela memorial.
Millar sits in with the guys on location in Orlando at MLB's Winter Meetings. He covers all the bases with Mut and Lou on all the Red Sox free agent possibilities and potential trades.
We discuss the vote that abolished the collision at the plate play in MLB, and bring in Tim Kurkjian of ESPN to further explain.
We check in with Tom Caron of NESN and get his take on the winter meetings and the moves (or lack thereof) the Sox have made at the winter meetings in Orlando.
We check in with Rob Bradford live from the Winter Meetings in Orlando.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
We answer what you ask... and by we mean Salk, Holley and special guest Jenny Dell of NESN!
Answering questions, its what we do.
Live from the Winter meetings, questions will be answered.
Kurkjian joins Mut and Merloni at the Winter Meetings to talk about the Red Sox plans on the market. Tim believes the Red Sox are not satisfied with their situation in center and are looking to add a veteran outfielder to the mix.More from this show
We discuss the comers and goers for the Red Sox and the rest of MLB with former GM Steve Phillips, now of MLB Radio on Sirius XM.More from this show