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Red Sox to call up Will Middlebrooks

Will Middlebrooks is on his way back up.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Will Middlebrooks is expected to be called back up to the majors Saturday, according to Rob Bradford. He will replace Brandon Snyder, who will head to the disabled list.

Will Middlebrooks will get his chance to regain the job he lost with a dismal performance in the first half of the season, hitting .192/.228/.389 in just over 200 at bats. Terrible pitch selection and an inability to make contact when swinging at questionable pitches left Middlebrooks completely incapable of competing at the major league level, leaving the Red Sox to turn to the hot Jose Iglesias to partner with Stephen Drew on the left side of the infield.

Now, however, Jose Iglesias is gone, and the Red Sox have been forced to live with an unsatisfactory combination of Brandon Snyder and Brock Holt at the hot corner. Unfortunately, Middlebrooks has not exactly impressed in Pawtucket, hitting .268/.327/.464 in 45 games, showing many of the same problems he had in the majors even against the weaker competition.

For all that, though, he's rattled off eight straight games with hits, drew a couple of walks the other day, and contributed a pair of homers earlier in the week. Perhaps he has finally turned the corner. If he has, then he will likely have his old job back. If not, however, he may miss his best chance to reclaim a starting role. The Red Sox will have Xander Bogaerts to replace him in such a situation, and even if Xander can move to shortstop in 2014, it would seem a too-large risk for the Sox to enter the next season depending on Will Middlebrooks for anything much without an encouraging performance over the weeks to come.

The good news is that there's generally little but upside to the equation here. If Middlebrooks is bad, he's hardly going to be worse than the two players he's replacing, and Xander Bogaerts remains in the wings. If he's good, then nothing more needs be said. If not a win - win situation, it's at least a win - don't lose.

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