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Will Middlebrooks leaves game with 'right wrist soreness'

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Middlebrooks will be re-evaluated on Thursday. (USATSI)

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks left Wednesday night's game against the Orioles with what the team is calling "right wrist soreness." He hurt himself on a check swing in the first inning and will be re-evaluated on Thursday.

Middlebrooks, 24, is expected to serve as Boston's every-day third baseman in 2013. He hit .288/.325/.509 with 15 homers in 286 plate appearances last season but an errant pitch fractured his right wrist in mid-August. Obviously, that makes this latest injury a bigger concern than usual.

The Red Sox do not have a ton of third-base depth, with Pedro Ciriaco (88 OPS+ in 2012) the most likely candidate to step in if Middlebrooks misses any length of time. Mauro Gomez (99 OPS+) has some experience at the hot corner as well. Top prospect Xander Bogaerts is a shortstop with no experience at third and only a handful of games played above Single-A. He's an unlikely candidate. Free agents like Scott Rolen and Adam Kennedy could be targets.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.

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