The Padres acquired the 26-year-old Middlebrooks from the Red Sox in a December trade. He's hitting .333, with two home runs and five RBI in 10 games this spring. He's started all 10 at third base and also played third in a split-squad game.
The 27-year-old Solarte was acquired in a trade with the Yankees last July. He's also hitting .333 this spring. Solarte has six starts at third base and three each at second base and first base.
"The beauty of Solarte is that he’s able to move all over the field," Black said, "and we’ve moved him all over the field. That doesn’t discount the fact that he’s still vying for the spot at third base."
Still, despite the hitless outing, Middlebrooks -- who is competing for the starting third base job -- is off to a good start this spring. He is batting .467 (7 for 15) with one double, two home runs and four RBI.
Manager Bud Black admitted third base was the "biggest" competition in camp. He said he believes both players can hack it in the majors, but was hesitant to say he would utilize them in a platoon role.
"Possibility," Black said, "but I think any player will tell you he wants to be an everyday player -- they want to play. And they’re both young, they’re both in their mid-20s. You hope it’s a tough decision at the end, but these things have a way of working themselves out."
Middlebrooks, 26, hit .191 over 215 at-bats last season. Solarte hit .260/.336/.369 over 469 at-bats.
After battling through wrist, back, calf, finger and hand injuries during his time with Boston,
"It was tough," Middlebrooks said Tuesday, per the Associated Press. "It was a process of learning what I can play through and what I couldn't. My mentality is if I can go at all, I'm going to try to play. And I feel like that kind of played against me last year."
After being the opening day starter at third base for two years with Boston, injuries muddled his opportunity to make an impact.
"I learned my lesson. I learned how to take care of myself a little better," Middlebrooks said. "Now I know, but unfortunately I learned the hard way."
The Padres are hoping a fresh start will allow Middlebrooks to reach the potential he failed to achieve in Boston.
"His swing is powerful. Lot of power to all fields," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We saw what he did in 2012 before he got injured. We think where he is age-wise, there's a lot of potential."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs N.Y. Yankees|
|vs N.Y. Yankees||11||1||0||.091||.182||.091|
|vs Pineda (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 |
| 8 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 14 |
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| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2010||AFA-Salem Red Sox||114||435||69||120||31||2||12||70||35||121||5||3||.331||.439||.276|
|2011||AA-Portland Sea Dogs||96||371||54||112||25||1||18||80||21||95||6||0||.345||.520||.302|
|2011||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||16||56||4||9||0||0||2||8||3||18||3||1||.200||.268||.161|
|2012||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||24||93||18||31||3||1||9||27||7||18||3||1||.380||.677||.333|
|2013||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||45||179||25||48||5||0||10||35||16||38||1||0||.327||.464||.268|
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