One of the few bright spots left to the 2012 Red Sox has gone out.
Hit by a 96 MPH fastball in the ninth inning, Will Middlebrooks left the field seemingly for the last time this season. It was a hit that sounded wrong when it happened, and now it's clear that it was.
Middlebrooks has hit .288/.325/.509 with 15 homers in an impressive rookie campaign. He started hot, slumped in the middle, and had seemingly started to find his swing again since the last week of July, but now he won't get a chance to bring it through to the end of the year.
Forgetting the impact of this on whatever semblance of a season the Red Sox have left to him, this is a very troubling event. Wrists are tricky things, and when they're not working right, they can really sap a batter's power and effectiveness at the plate. Ask Jed Lowrie, ask David Ortiz. It's not a death sentence by any means, but it's one of the more troubling injuries a player can suffer. Hopefully they take this as slow as they need to--they certainly have the time.
In the meantime, the Sox will promote the recently-acquired Danny Valencia to the majors to take his place on the roster. Whether third base goes to Valencia, Nick Punto, or the ever-exciting Pedro Ciriaco remains to be seen.