In response to Teakus' comment:
You're a more patient man than I. I'm calling him an official bust right now and am prepared to cut bait with him. The man is uncoachable, in the sense that no matter what is said to him or by whom, he simply is incapable of following the advice consistently. It's part laziness, partly a lack of baseball intelligence, and partly too many off field distractions. His power has always intrigued me, but unless you can guarantee he'll be facing terrible pitching for the rest of his career, he'll never be worth keeping in the line up. He's also a mediocre fielder which doesn't help matters. We've given him a fair shot because of one decent season, during which pitchers hadn't yet found the gaping holes in his swing. Now he's a sitting duck when facing any pitcher with any brains at all. Sadly, his time has come and gone.
In response to andrewmitch's comment:
I was always concerned about his hacking and the fact he was like the anti-Youkilis; he's also not a very good 3B.
I think the thing to do w/ him is to keep him in the minors for ALL of 2015. He needs to work on his AB's (approach) AND he needs to learn to play 1B. I want to put him first in line to take over for when Nap's contract is up. He either wins that job or he's off the team (ie released or put in a package of some sort). Not ready to give up on his RH Power just yet plus he's young and under control (and he's a good baserunner). But that's my plan for him. He's got until March 15th, 2016 to figure it out.
I firmly agree with TEAKUS.Some players have 5 minutes of success and then completely lose it. It's happened many times in baseball history and now it has happened to WMB. Trading him is good for the SOX and it may turn out to be good for Middlebrooks. You know, that change of scenery thing.