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Red Sox notes: Will Middlebrooks to try hand in outfield, Stephen Drew returns

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Manager John Farrell said before Sunday's game that they may try to use Will Middlebrooks in the outfield. Stephen Drew also made his return on Sunday.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON -- In the Red Sox ever continuing search to find outfield depth, the team may begin to work third baseman Will Middlebrooks in the outfield after he full recovers from his injury. Middlebrooks, who is currently rehabbing with the Pawtucket Red Sox, will not begin to take fly balls until he gets back into the flow of things at third base and at designated hitter.

"Once we get into the rehab progress or plan in a week to ten days, we may take a look at him in the outfield," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It’s just to answer any questions of flexibility that we can before a decision on the roster is to be made so if that gives us ability to find at-bats for Will if he were to come back here in that capacity, so be it."

First base coach Arnie Beyeler indicates that Will Middlebrooks will be able to use the same athletic ability and instincts that allowed Brock Holt to smoothly make the transition to the outfield.

"These guys are all good athletes," Beyeler said. "It’s just playing baseball so they’ve just got to go out there from talking to those guys who have made that transition, it’s a little lonely out there by yourself and a little far removed the further out you get, the slower things get a little bit so you’ve got to stay focused, a little tougher to stay focused, but then, all of a sudden, the ball gets hit to you and the game is on the line so. These guys are all baseball players and they do whatever it takes to stay on the field, so we’ll go out there and go to work if that’s the case. I’m sure he’ll be fine and use his athletic ability."

Stephen Drew returns

It took six days, but Stephen Drew made his return on Sunday after dealing with an oblique injury. After Farrell hinted at the possibility of a DL stint for the shortstop on Saturday, Drew returned to the lineup hitting eighth.

"He passed his tests as far as swinging the bat with increased intensity, all the defensive work that he’€™s gone through," Farrell said. "Never really reproduced the symptoms in the oblique, so he’€™s in there tonight."