SARASOTA, Fla. — Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks believes he dodged a bullet.
The 24-year-old left Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles after an awkward check swing on an up-and-in fastball from right-hander Chris Tillman sent pain shooting into his the outside of his right wrist, at the base of the hand above the pinkie. His hand slipped off the bat as a result. He feared a recurrence of injury to the same region that wiped out the final nine weeks of his 2012 rookie season due to a fracture suffered on a hit by pitch.
However, when Middlebrooks returned to the Red Sox clubhouse, the news — at least at first glance, pending further evaluation on Thursday in Fort Myers — represented a best-case scenario. While Middlebrooks has yet to get an X-ray or MRI, initial strength tests showed that he had all of the strength in his wrist. And with the pain in the region already subsiding considerably within the first hours after the injury, the third baseman was optimistic that he’d avoided an issue that would represent a threat to his season.
“It’s not as serious as we thought it was. … Everything as of now seems fine,” said a relieved Middlebrooks. “It was more of a scare because it was of the area it was, right where I broke it last year. I just took a swing — obviously it looked pretty awkward, and it felt just as awkward as it looked. It was more precautionary. I probably could have stayed in the game and been fine, but they just wanted to make sure everything was alright.”
That outlook represented a marked contrast to Middlebrooks’ immediate fears as he was walking off the field. He fired his helmet in disgust, concerned that he’d suffered a serious setback.
“I was just frustrated. I’ve been busting my ass to get this thing back to where I can play. In my head, I was worried there might be a setback, and I don’t think there’s going to be,” he said. “It worried me for sure, but I feel fine. … It was just kind of a freak thing that scared everybody, including myself. It’s not serious. Like I said, it was just a scare — it scared me, it scared everyone else, but we’re just making sure. It’s not a big deal.”
Middlebrooks — who acknowledged that he’s felt some tightness but “no real pain” in the wrist after taking batting practice this spring — said that he was hopeful that his inactivity might not be more than a day upon further examination on Thursday, even opining that a best-case scenario was batting practice as soon as Thursday, particularly if the issue was nothing more than scar tissue breaking at the point of last year’s injury.
“That’s what we’re leaning towards. That’s our best bet. But I’m not a doctor. I wish I was so I could tell you more, but that’s what we’re leaning towards,” said Middlebrooks. “Nothing’s broken. Nothing’s torn. It was just kind of a scary, awkward swing and we just wanted to make sure everything was normal.”
While Middlebrooks offered considerable optimism about his injury — to the point where the team was hopeful that a major issue had been avoided — there was nonetheless a sense that any conclusions about Middlebrooks’ health should remain measured until he gets a more thorough exam (including an X-ray and perhaps an MRI) on Thursday.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.
Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe talked to the Sox right-hander, who allowed three hits and zero walks in the 3-0 win over the Rays.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.
Buck, Fred and Jerry Thornton opened the show by discussing the start of Jimmy Garappolo's career in New England.
Cole joins Dennis and Callahan to explain Tom Brady's reaction to the Logan Mankins trade.
More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.
The guys dicuss Johnny Football, Terrible Summer Movies, and John Rocker being on Survivor
Tom Curran recaps the Pats preseason and talks about some of the players who may get cut.
Michael Irvin talks about the final preseason game for the Patriots and the biggest storylines heading into the opening weekend.
We recap the summer's biggest sports stories leading into Labor Day Weekend.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.
We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.More from this show
More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.More from this show