There has been no official move as of yet, but, according to the prying eyes of the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, Will Middlebrooks is back from his rehab assignment in Pawtucket and on the Red Sox once more. He's also in Monday's lineup against the Rays:
In lineup posted outside Red Sox clubhouse Will Middlebrooks is back batting 8th.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) June 10, 2013
Middlebrooks was kept in the minors a few days extra so, as manager John Farrell put it, he could come back to the majors with some momentum in his offense. As he hit .294/.429/.647 with two homers in five games, mission seemingly accomplished.
There will have to be a corresponding move, and it's very likely that it's utility player Pedro Ciriaco being designated for assignment -- Cafardo reports that this is the case. Ciriaco has hit just .216/.293/.353 for the Red Sox this year, and has an OPS+ of just 85 with them in his two seasons in town. If Ciriaco clears waivers or is claimed by another team, that opens up a 40-man spot for the Red Sox, and also means Boston has committed to Jose Iglesias as a major-league player.
Iglesias is not going to take Middlebrooks' job at third base, but he will likely absorb more playing time from Middlebrooks, Stephen Drew, and maybe even Dustin Pedroia than Ciriaco did or ever would have. He's hit .446/.494/.581 in 22 games and 83 plate appearances this year, bringing his career major-league line to .291/.354/.392. If Iglesias can even stay around that going forward, with his defense, he'll be a very productive player, and maybe even in line to be Boston's shortstop in 2014.