The Red Sox had an opening at third base after trading Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers in a three-way deal that netted the team Jake Peavy. Middlebooks did not appear in the Pawtucket lineup on Thursday, leading to speculation that Boston might recall the third baseman.
Middlebrooks did not receive a promotion; he was simply getting a day off, sources told Lauber. Brock Holt and Brandon Snyder will split time at third for now, although the team is not likely to stick with the platoon during the stretch, according to Lauber.
Middlebrooks struggled with Boston before his demotion, as he hit .192./228/.389 in 216 plate appearances. The 24-year-old has looked better in Triple-A, but has not dominated, hitting .253/.319/.445 for Pawtucket.
Assistant general manager Mike Hazen discussed Middlebrooks with Lauber, telling the reporter:
"We have seen some improvements. He's controlling the zone better, grinding out at bats more. He's continuing to go through that process, and if he stays with it, the numbers will be there for him."
Boston will base their decision to recall Middlebrooks on the input they receive from Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina and hitting coach Dave Joppie.