With Jose Iglesias having taken over as the everyday third baseman, the Red Sox have optioned Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell acknowledged over the weekend that the Sox might reach such a point, given what he described as a role reversal between the two players.
We went from, if Iglesias stays, how many days a week can he play and still maintain his development, and now we’re flipping that with Will,” Farrell told reporters on Saturday in Detroit. “If there comes a point where we feel like he’s not getting enough reps, maybe [the idea of sending Middlebrooks to the minors] comes into the discussion a little bit more, but that’s not imminent right now.”
However, with benefit of Monday’s off-day, the Red Sox evidently had time to reconsider. Iglesias, now hitting .426/.479/.565, is starting for the ninth time in 10 games on Tuesday, with seven of those coming at third (including each of the last four Red Sox games). Middlebrooks, meanwhile, is hitting just .192/.228/.389. He hasn’t played since June 20. In his last four games, he’s 1-for-14.
“I’m a competitor. I want to play every day. I understand the circumstances, I understand how well he’s played, and like I’ve said to several people, I’m happy for him,” Middlebrooks told reporters on Saturday. “He’s worked hard to get where he is, and he deserves everything he’s getting right now. I’m not going to be mad, I’m not going to be jealous. He’s my teammate. I’m happy for him. Am I disappointed in myself? Absolutely. That’s what I can control. I control how hard I work and what I do to perform.
“I’m frustrated,” he added. “Everybody would be frustrated — not because he’s playing well, but because I didn’t perform and do my part.”
Snyder, signed to a minor league deal at the end of spring training after he opted out of a similar minor league contract with the Rangers, is hitting .267/.338/.470 with 10 homers in 63 games in Pawtucket. The 26-year-old has played 40 games at first base and 22 at third.
He explained his decision to sign with the Red Sox thusly:
“When you opt out of a contract two days before spring training ends, it’s not like you have a whole list of jobs waiting for you. So honestly, I was just hoping to find a place where I could at least get a place to play,” said Snyder. “Leaving Texas was tough. I enjoyed my time there. But they were looking at some other guys, some younger guys. They got a guy back in the Rule 5 [former Red Sox prospect Chris McGuiness, traded to Texas for Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2010] who they wanted to play first in Triple-A everyday, and they really didn’t have a spot for me to play everyday. I understood that. That’s when I said, ‘I’ve got to find a place where I can at least play everyday in Triple-A, if not be in the big leagues.’ I was on my way home, got the call from my agent that the Red Sox needed some help in Triple-A and I feel very blessed to come here — great guys, great manager, great manager.
“I didn’t want to sign with anyone where I would be sitting on the bench in Triple-A. It just worked out. I feel really blessed that I got a chance to sign with anybody, but the fact that it is the Red Sox, my cousin is [in the organization], it just kind of added on.”
For more on Snyder and his quest to play all nine positions for the Sox, click here.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Snyder, David Ross was moved to the 60-day DL.
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