The Red Sox and Will Middlebrooks breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after his panic-inducing right wrist injury from the day before had virtually evaporated.
No X-rays were necessary, Middlebrooks took batting practice, and manager John Farrell said he may even consider putting Middlebrooks back in the lineup as soon as this weekend, maybe even tonight.
Still, as suddenly as the alarms were dialed back down to near zero, attention shifted to the Red Sox’ back-up plan at third base.

The short answer is that there isn’t one.
There really isn’t someone ready to take over in case of any future setback or injury to Middlebrooks. That in itself is not so unusual — few teams carry a ready-to-go third baseman on the bench, but the long-term outlook at the position is not chock full of good answers.
The organization’s best third base prospect, Garin Cecchini, has not played above Single A and is just 21, so the answer lies within, since the ballclub is not currently looking to make any additions.
Pedro Ciriaco, Brock Holt, Drew Sutton and Xander Bogaerts are in the mix for the utility infielder’s job, which is also code for third baseman should Middlebrooks need a backup.
“Well, when you get into the depth behind Will, we’re looking at more utility-like guys rather than someone who would profile at that position long term,” Farrell said yesterday. “We’re confident with the people in camp. There’s no additions in camp that are being contemplated or imminent. That’s kind of where we are.”
Ciriaco is out of options and made a strong impression last season, so he is the front-runner right now. He has little experience playing third base, though.
The 24-year-old Holt was the other Pirate who came over in the Joel Hanrahan trade, and Farrell said yesterday Holt was no throw-in but an integral part of the deal.
The fact that the Red Sox have started to ask Holt, whose main experience is at shortstop and second base, to take grounders at third base as well as consider getting experience in center field is a strong indication of how highly they think of him.
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