Will Middlebrooks injured his right wrist on an aborted swing in Wednesday night's game against the Orioles. Has the worst come to pass just one week into spring training?
UPDATE: Some encouraging news from Will Middlebrooks himself, who told reporters that the injury was just a scare. Michael Silverman says the wrist wasn't wrapped in any way, and didn't look swollen. And Alex Speier says he has all the strength in his hand and is pain-free. I, for one, won't be feeling fine until we're a few days in and Middlebrooks is hitting again, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
UPDATE: The Red Sox say that Middlebrooks is suffering from wrist "soreness". While this likely means that the wrist hasn't exploded into pieces, it's also no guarantee of anything. They'll re-evaluate him tomorrow, which means we all have a full night to worry about it.
The ill-fated at-bat came in the top of the first inning. Middlebrooks headed straight for the dugout after trying to check his swing on an inside fastball, favoring his right hand--yes, the one connected to the wrist that cost him the second half of the 2012 season--all the way. Pedro Ciriaco took his place at the plate, and Middlebrooks headed into the locker room.
If this is more than just a minor injury, the Red Sox have no answer for it at all. Pedro Ciriaco doesn't have the bat, Brock Holt doesn't have the arm, Mauro Gomez can't play the position at all, and bringing Xander Bogaerts up makes little sense at this stage in his development. The simple fact is that without Will Middlebrooks, the Sox will be forced to either make a move, or accept one lost position on the team for however long he's out. Not a hit that's easily absorbed for a team that's already in questionable territory.
For now all we can do is wait and hope.