That's Mr. Middlebrooks himself taking batting practice today after being fully cleared for all baseball activities. And that, it seems, should put an end to any residual panic over the "injury" the third baseman suffered during last night's game against the Orioles.
While we'd heard encouraging words from Middlebrooks and the Red Sox even before last night's game ended, there was going to be concern until he was back holding a bat and taking hacks, be it in a game or in a cage. Now we have that. Combined with Clay Buchholz' little hamstring issue, that makes two spring training injuries that have amounted to nothing. It's not the sort of perfect record we really want to be putting to the test, but it's absolutely one we'll appreciate holding for now.
Middlebrooks will not play in tonight's game against the Pirates, but that's true of all the starters, who will be staying back in Fort Myers. Chances are we'll see him back in the lineup come this weekend.