Red Sox contemplate using Will Middlebrooks in outfield

KANSAS CITY — If Will Middlebrooks continues to play a pivotal role in the offense, what will the Red Sox do once Kevin Youkilis ready to return? Youkilis is eligible to return on Monday, although it is unlikely he will be activated that day.

Middlebrooks was a third baseman in high school and has played only third base professionally. Could he play the outfield?

“I don’t know,” Bobby Valentine said. “It’s been tossed around in some quarters.”

Generally speaking, Valentine said third baseman do not make good corner outfielders.

“I’ve seen it not work a lot,” he said. “I’ve tried some, early on. The Dean Palmers of the world. [Middlebrooks] is more fleet, he runs a little better than a lot of third baseman, which might give him a little upside. It’s just a little different.

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“It hasn’t been a table discussion yet. So I don’t think it even has to enter his domain. That being said, I think he’s a pretty — small sample, my being around him — he’s a pretty mature baseball guy. He’s not going to be flustered by a lot of things.”

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