Boston's Middlebrooks has broken right wrist
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Will Middlebrooks is out and Boston's hopes for a stretch-run surge took another hit.
The Red Sox placed hot-hitting rookie third baseman on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right wrist Saturday and called up Danny Valencia from Triple-A Pawtucket.
"It's a damn shame," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He had a terrific run with us, but I don't think he'll be back this year."
Middlebrooks, hitting .288 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 75 games, was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning Friday night. He held his wrist in agony after being nailed by a fastball from Esmil Rogers and left the game.
"This is tough," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "Since he's been up, he's been great. He has gotten so many big hits and he's shown so much improvement in the field. He was developing into a great player."
Middlebrooks is the 25th Red Sox player to go on the disabled list this season.
That's a big reason why Boston entered play Saturday 11 games out in the AL East and 5 1/2 back in the wild card race. The 23-year-old Middlebrooks was a bright spot in Boston's inconsistent second half. He hit .300 over his last 18 games.
Pedro Ciriaco was in Boston's starting lineup at third, hitting ninth. Valencia, acquired in a trade from Minnesota on Sunday, was expected to arrive at about the same time as the scheduled 6:05 p.m. start against the Cleveland Indians.
"A very timely signing," Valentine said of the Red Sox adding Valencia as depth help.
Valencia fell out of favor with the Twins after hitting .311 in 85 games as a rookie two years ago and batting .246 with 15 homers and 72 RBIs as the starter in 2011.
"There was something they didn't like over there," Valentine said. "This could be the second chance he needs."
Valencia hit only .198 with three walks and 32 strikeouts in 34 games this year before the trade.
Valentine called for players to start wearing protective covering on their wrists when batting.
"I don't see why not," he said. "Some wear them on the elbow, but every year you see 3, 4, 5 guys going out after getting hit on the wrist. When I managed in Japan, I had one of my best players (Toshiaki) Imae have it happen two different years."
Valentine said he has "no concrete plan" for determining if Valencia or Ciriaco will get the most playing time at third in Middlebrooks' absence.