SARASOTA, Fla. — When Will Middlebrooks left the first inning of Wednesday night’s 5-3 loss against the Baltimore Orioles holding his right wrist against his side, it appeared the Red Sox third baseman had suffered a significant injury.
Instead it was only a scare. The pain dissipated quickly and Middlebrooks left Ed Smith Stadium feeling only relief. “I was worried. It worried me for sure. But I feel fine,” he said.
Middlebrooks broke that same wrist when he was hit by a pitch last August. This time he tried to check his swing at a pitch thrown by Chris Tillman and stepped back from the plate grabbing at his wrist.
The pain was in the same spot on the outside of his wrist where he suffered the break.
“It felt weird on the swing, an awkward thing,” Middlebrooks said. “Fastball up and in, started early, tried to check it. Don’t know if my hand slipped off the bat or what but it didn’t feel right.”
Manager John Farrell and head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson took Middlebrooks out of the game immediately.
“We weren’t taking any chances,” Farrell said. “We’ll get further tests on him in the morning to see what the next steps will be. But I think as the initial discomfort wore off he felt pretty good about it.”
No X-rays are scheduled. Farrell said that could change if Middlebrooks has any swelling or lingering soreness.
Middlebrooks threw his helmet into the dugout as he left the game. “I was just frustrated,” he said. “I’ve been busting my [butt] to get this to where I can play. In my head I was just worried there might be a setback and I don’t think there’s going to be.
“It was precautionary. Probably could have stayed in the game and stayed in that at-bat and been fine. Just wanted to make sure everything was fine because of the break last year.”
The tests done in the clubhouse were encouraging.
“I have all my strength, we did strength tests, everything is there,” Middlebrooks said. “Everything as of now seems fine. Just kind of a freak thing and it scared everybody. It’s not serious. It scared me and scared everybody else.”
Middlebrooks said his wrist has felt “tight” at times this spring. He suspects the incident Wednesday was triggered by scar tissue breaking up.
“That’s what we’re leaning towards. That’s our best bet. But I’m not a doctor,” Middlebrooks said. “I wish I was so I could tell you more, but that’s what we’re leaning towards. Nothing’s broken. Nothing’s torn. It was just kind of a scary, awkward swing and we just wanted to make sure everything was normal.”
Ortiz takes leave
David Ortiz was excused from camp to attend to a personal matter in the Dominican Republic and is not expected back until Friday.
“He’s taking a couple of personal days,” said Farrell. “He’s got a personal issue that he’s taking care of right now.”
Ortiz has yet to play in spring training as he recovers from a strained right Achilles’ tendon. He could start base-running drills next week.
Righthander Alfredo Aceves was on Mexico’s provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic. He also was on the final roster that was released last week.
But because of what seems to be an administrative error, Aceves was not officially added to the roster until Wednesday. The Red Sox were as surprised as anybody to find that out.
Aceves is set to leave Sunday to join the Mexican team in Arizona. Its first game is March 7 against Italy.
A bigger question is whether Aceves will work as a starter or a reliever. The Sox initially were told that he would start. Now it’s uncertain.
“We were under the understanding that he would go in as a starting pitcher,” said Farrell. “That’s why we brought him [into camp] to do the same.”
Doubront ready to go
Felix Doubront threw a two-inning simulated game in Fort Myers and will join the rotation Monday with a two-inning start against Tampa Bay. Doubront threw 39 pitches to minor leaguers Keury De La Cruz and Kolbrin Vitek. Doubront has been held back because of shoulder soreness . . . Outfielder Alex Hassan, who has a stress fracture in his left foot, is scheduled for an MRI Thursday. He hopes to get cleared for on-field activities . . . The Sox, at the request of the Twins, put together a team for a “B” game Thursday morning. Two players on the training camp roster, shortstop Deven Marrero and second baseman Justin Henry, will participate. Players from minor league camp will man the other spots . . . The Sox media guide cover features a shot of Fenway Park with 11 players in the foreground — the nine regular position players plus Jon Lester and Joel Hanrahan.