A hit by pitch ended the rookie campaign of third baseman Will Middlebrooks on Saturday night. While it's a terrible end to a season in which he hit well enough to replace third baseman Kevin Youkilis a year prior to when it was expected he would, there's some good news to be had. Middlebrooks won't require surgery to repair the broken wrist sustained on that hit by pitch.
"They're not displaced," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "The gaps just need to fill in. When those things just get cracked, they've got to get the putty filled back in there. It shouldn't be any problem. But then again, who knows."
Broken wrists -- or any wrist injury -- can cause short- and long-term issues with power, but there are also plenty of occasions where there's no problem outside of the initial missed time. Albert Pujols, Troy Tulowitzki, and Nick Markakis have all suffered broken wrists in recent seasons, but each returned as if nothing had happened. Then again, there are players like Jed Lowrie, who didn't even break his wrist, who had effects linger for years after.
It's too soon to know just which camp Middlebrooks is in, and since there's only roughly a month-and-a-half of season left, we won't get a chance to find out in 2012. As said, though, not needing surgery is a good sign, in a relative sense, at least when it comes to Middlebrooks' future.