SARASOTA, Fla. — When Will Middlebrooks left the first inning of Wednesday night’s game 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 proved to be 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 away 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.”
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. I’ve been busting my ass 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,” he said.
“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 on 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.”