CLEVELAND — The Boston Red Sox received a bit of good news on third baseman Will Middlebrooks‘ broken bone in his right hand as the rookie said before Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians that he won’t need surgery.
“We’ll see how it goes for a few weeks,” Middlebrooks said. “The doctors told me everything should be fine, it should heal just fine.”
Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch in Friday’s game and was placed on the 15-day disabled list before Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Indians. He could miss the rest of the season.
“I’ve been hit in the wrist before, but it was never broken,” he said. “I could almost feel and hear it crunch, but I don’t know if that was the Velcro on my batting glove or the bone.”
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Middlebrooks was hitting .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs.
“When the season is over maybe I’ll have a chance to reflect on it and say it’s gone pretty well,” Middlebrooks said. “We all want to win. We’re trying to get to the playoffs and I can’t help.”
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said there wasn’t a displaced bone in Middlebrooks’ wrist. If there was, it would have required surgery.
The injury news on designated hitter David Ortiz wasn’t as encouraging as the Red Sox had hoped. Ortiz had circled Sunday as a possible return from a strained Achilles, but he wasn’t in the lineup for the conclusion of the four-game series.
The Red Sox are 10-15 since Ortiz went on the disabled list July 17.
Ortiz is hitting .316 with 23 home runs and 58 RBIs this season.
“He’s at the point where, if he has the full workout and he doesn’t have any pain afterward, he’ll be ready to go,” Valentine said. “He’s done the full workout a couple of times. But he was a little sore in that specific spot.”
Danny Valencia, recalled from Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday, could get the bulk of the playing time at third base.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said. “I thought I was swinging the bat pretty well (at Pawtucket). My average wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I was doing a good job with my production.”
He said he hasn’t been told how much he’ll play.
Valencia was traded to the Red Sox from Minnesota on Aug. 5. He started the season as the Twins’ everyday third baseman.
“I got off to a slow start in April,” he said. “I was sent down in May. I was traded over here. It seems like I was the odd man out.
“It’s nice to be playing for a team looking to play in the postseason.”
In other injury news for the Red Sox, right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, on the 15-day DL with a strained right trapezius, pitched 4 2/3 innings on Friday for Pawtucket.
“We’re trying to get seven innings out of him next time,” Valentine said. “He feels healthy.”
Right-hander Andrew Bailey, on the 60-day DL after right thumb surgery, appears to be close to joining the Red Sox. He pitched one scoreless inning for Pawtucket on Thursday.
“We’ll try to get him in a real-game situation,” Valentine said. “I haven’t seen him pitch since spring training.”
Left-hander Rich Hill will pitch one inning in the Rookie Gulf Coast League on Monday.
Bob Finnan is a contributor to ESPNBoston.com.
Red Sox’s Middlebrooks will avoid wrist surgery
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