The Red Sox placed third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list, the team announced Friday.
Infielder Jose Iglesias and pitcher Alfredo Aceves were called up from Triple A Pawtucket, and Iglesias is slated to start Friday night’s game vs. the Indians at third base.
Iglesias, who started the season as the Red Sox shortstop while Stephen Drew was on the disabled list, had been practicing at third and second base in anticipation of a potential utility role in Boston. Iglesias played third for Pawtucket Tuesday.
Middlebrooks left Thursday’s game at Fenway because of back spasms. The injury initially cropped up in his last at-bat against the White Sox in Chicago Wednesday, though he made no mention of it.
After Middlebrooks had an MRI, the team’s medical staff determined that in the best-case scenario, it would take “a minimum three to five days just to get ahead of it,” said manager John Farrell. And being a position player short, Farrell said it made sense to send Middlebrooks to the DL.
“He felt a little bit of a stretching sensation or something awkward on that final swing that he took when he grounded the ball out to third base and he was running down the line,” said Farrell. “Then in the two at-bats last night, it continued to tighten up on him.
“The MRI showed inflammation in the muscle that surrounds either side. So given where we are with the roster position player-wise, we had to make a move and really [it’s] precautionary to Will.”
Victorino, whose move to the DL was retroactive to Tuesday, left Monday’s game against the White Sox with a left hamstring injury and has missed the three games since. He has dealt with back and rib injuries already this season, and the hope is that two weeks off will allow him to get back to 100 percent.
“I’m frustrated, but I think the overall understanding is it’s probably better,” Victorino said. “I don’t want to be that guy and play half a game and have something resurface and then somebody else has got to go and play for me. I’m just not that kind of player and that kind of stuff frustrates me. I never want to have to put somebody in that situation.”
Catcher David Ross was activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list, and Ryan Lavarnway was sent down to Pawtucket. Ross played in a rehab game for the Double A Portland Sea Dogs Thursday. He had been placed on the concussion DL May 12 after being hit in the mask by foul balls twice.
“We’re just going through a rough patch in general right now,” Ross said. “Guys are getting nicked up and dinged up. Just part of this game.
“These guys, they play hard, they go hard, they’re busting it down the line every time. These guys go out there and put their hearts and their bodies on the line. It’s just part of it.”
Some other notes:
• Iglesias played third base for the first time Tuesday, with about three days of preparation, but Farrell called him the team’s “best candidate internally.”
He said Iglesias was “a guy we’ll feel confident will come up and play and play well enough at the position.”
There were obvious nerves for Iglesias playing at the corner for the first time for Pawtucket.
“Everything is new,” he said. “I don’t even know little things like where I should throw, where I should be.”
He booted the first ball that came his way, but fielded his next four chances cleanly.
“That was my first game at third in my life,” Iglesias said. “It was fun. I was able to make some plays. It’s different. It’s a lot different. Just see the ball, catch the ball, make the throw and help the team, that’s the bottom line.
In the Boston clubhouse, Iglesias talked with infield coach Brian Butterfield, learning as much as he can on the fly.
“There’s going to be different angles we know that he’ll take at third base versus in the middle of the diamond at shortstop,” Farrell said. “There was three and a half, four days of work prior to his first game in Pawtucket. But yeah, but I think it speaks volumes to he’s an infielder and he’s got very good instincts and reactions.”
• Aceves will likely be used as a multi-inning reliever, Farrell said.
“Given the short start last night, we needed a pitcher in the short term,” Farrell said. “At some point, we’d like to get back to a balance of 12 pitchers and 13 position players.”