CLEVELAND -- Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks will not need surgery on his fractured right wrist, he said Sunday. Middlebrooks sustained the injury in the ninth inning of Friday night's game against the Indians, and he will likely miss the remainder of the season.
"They're not displaced," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "The gaps just need to fill in. When those things just get cracked, they've got to get the putty filled back in there. It shouldn't be any problem. But then again, who knows."
As soon as the 96-mph fastball from Esmil Rogers hit Middlebrooks, he knew it was bad.
"I almost felt it crunch," he said when addressing the media for the first time since the injury. "I didn't know if that was my wrist or like the velcro on my batting glove. And then once we came in, I really couldn't move it much."
Middlebrooks' injury leaves another major hole in Boston's lineup. The 23-year-old was hitting .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in 75 games. With the team trying to chase down a playoff spot, Middlebrooks expressed disappointment that he won't be able to contribute.
"It's horrible," he said. "There's a month and a half left, and I'm stuck being a cheerleader. We all want to win games here, and I can't do anything to help now."
As upset as Middlebrooks was about the injury, he recognized the progress he made in a short time this season. The Red Sox traded veteran Kevin Youkilis to make Middlebrooks an everyday player, and he has flourished in that role.
"Most of it's mental and confidence-wise," he said, "knowing I can compete up here and help us win. Next year, going into it, I feel like I have a job. I'm not trying to win a spot, I feel like I have a spot here. That's a big thing."