The developing debate at the hot corner

The Red Sox have an old-fashioned quarterback controversy developing here. Well, make that a third base controversy.

Will Middlebrooks, the prized prospect, is hitting the cover off the ball. Kevin Youkilis is on the disabled list, resting his ailing back.

So what happens when Youkilis comes back? The earliest Youk can play is next Monday at home against the Indians. Given that he had just started a walking program the other day, it sounds ambitious that he would return that soon.

In other words, Middlebrooks will get a chance to keep proving himself, like he did Monday night, when he put on a Tour De Force of power at Kauffman Stadium. He curled one around the RF foul pole. He smashed one off the wall in center. He clanged one off the LF foul pole. For those keeping score at home, Middlebrooks has nine RBIs in the last two games.

To take it a step further, Youkilis has nine RBIs in 64 at-bats. Middlebrooks has had 21 at-bats.

Can Youkilis revert back to the star he was before injuries started taking a toll on him in August of 2010? In his last 143 at-bats dating back to Aug. 1 of last season, Youkilis is hitting .203 with four homers and 15 RBIs.

But what happens when scouting reports start to develop on Middlebrooks? Does he then tail off or does he adjust quickly?

There is a lot to think about for the Red Sox. Youkilis obviously doesn’t have a lot of trade value at the moment, given his $12 million salary for this season. He is a free agent following the year, and the Red Sox hold a $13 million option on him with a $1 million buyout.

Could a situation develop where Youkilis is the veteran stuck on the bench, like Mike Lowell in 2010?

Or do the Red Sox deal Youkilis, in which case they will likely have to eat a lot of the salary.

This is yet another tough decision for Ben Cherington to be faced with in his first season as general manager.

Middlebrooks and the Red Sox are back out there tonight in an 8:05 p.m. ET contest at Kauffman Stadium.

7 Comments

I’m glad Will M. has gotten off to such a fast start. I do hope that pulled hamstrings, cramps, etc., do not slow him down. That would sound too familiar. :/ I also hope he gets used to fielding and throwing at 3B soon enough– I’d rather not see his HRs and XBHs be evened out with run-costly errors. I do like what I see from him, though!
I do wonder what will happen when Youk returns, esp. once (if?) Crawford and Jacoby get healthy. It was postulated that Will might play OF. That MIGHT be a better option (esp. speed-wise) compared to Youk or Gonzo, but I’m not sure I like that idea too much, esp. if the hamstring issues resurface. We’ll see!
Keep up the good work, Will, and please, stay on the field! GO SOX!

Put Youk back on 3rd and give him a chance to return to his former ability. Give Middlebrook the quick training job and put him in left field!! Whats to lose?? They already lose 4 out of 5 games . Ross cannot play the outfield!!.

How about Good “Will” Hunting?

I wonder what will Boston do next weekend in Philly? Ortiz is the only bat in the Boston lineup that strikes fear into any opposing pitcher. No way can Ortiz sit more than a game. Will we see Gonzalez in right like last year? If Gonzalez does play right, how many games will he be out there? On a side not, I absolutely despise interleague play. Bud Selig never asked my opinion because they are adding more interleague games next year.

Dice-K is lurking right around the corner. I didn’t think we would see him playing with the big boys until late June or early July. I thought he would have a setback or three by now.

Last night Buchholz had his best outing of the year. He didn’t strike out anyone and that is a little concerning.

Will the real Adrian Gonzalez step up? Where did his power go?

I hope Middlebrooks gets his chance, and stays in the bigs. The kid can hit, and, I think, will learn to be a very solid 3B, athlete that he is. I’ve always liked Youk, & hope he’s not done, but wonder if 3B might be a bit much for him physically at this point. He might be better served backing up Middlebrooks, Gonzales and Ortiz (think Paul Molitor, who could definitely play the field, but stayed healthy when he became largely a DH/backup).

A lot has been said about trading Youk. He is hurt because he leaves it all on the field. If you want to get rid of someone; how about Bard. He is LOUSY!!!!!!!!

Deal Youk.

I suggest you give Youk the one million buy out and finally get rid of this guy, he has a bad aurora for the team moral.

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