CLEVELAND — Will Middlebrooks was hit by a 96-mile-per-hour fastball by Cleveland reliever Esmil Rogers in the ninth inning and left Friday night’s 3-2 victory over the Indians. According to a team source, he broke his right wrist.
Valentine said Middlebrooks was “hit in a bad spot” and was in a lot of pain.
Valentine said the rookie was struck on the side of the wrist, near the base of the hand, on the bone.
“I have no idea what it is,” Middlebrooks said before he left. “I just know it hurts.”
Third baseman Danny Valencia was obtained from the Twins on Aug 5. He is a career .260 hitter over parts of three seasons but was hitting only .198 this season. He has played two games for Pawtucket since the trade.
The Red Sox have already put 24 players on the disabled list 28 times this season.
Doubront scaled back
As their season drifts away, the Red Sox will take a cautious path with 24-year-old lefthander Felix Doubront and cut down on his innings.
Doubront has been temporarily removed from the rotation and will miss at least one start, Valentine said on Friday.
Aaron Cook will start in Doubront’s place against the Orioles on Wednesday.
Doubront has pitched well this season, going 10-6 with a 4.70 earned run average over 22 starts. He has struck out a team-best 119 over 122⅔ innings.
But Doubront has allowed 16 earned runs on 27 hits and 14 walks over his last 20⅔ innings. He also has thrown 35 more innings than he did last season, about where most teams draw the line with young starters and their innings progression.
Doubront had a rough start against the Indians on Thursday, giving up four runs on seven hits over 4⅓ innings. He could not command his fastball and had trouble getting ahead of batters.
“Right now a little blow for Felix is what the doctor ordered,” Valentine said. “Want him to take a deep breath, maybe do a little bit more leg work, do a little less throwing. I think he’ll then have that other gear we saw him have earlier in the season.”
The plan is for Doubront to miss just one start. But Valentine did not dismiss the idea of Doubront going on the disabled list.
Doubront will be available out of the bullpen in an emergency, but Valentine hopes not to use him.
Within his rights
A column on CSNNE.com criticized righthander John Lackey for drinking beer in the clubhouse on Thursday night and staying with the team while on the disabled list recovering from elbow surgery.
But Lackey broke no rules and is within his rights to be with the club.
Red Sox policy bans beer in the clubhouse at home, during games on the road, and on flights returning to Boston. Players have been allowed beer after road games all season, which is a common practice throughout the majors.
“That’s beer right there,” Valentine said, pointing to the small refrigerator in the visiting manager’s office at Progressive Field. “If you came in here [last night], you would have seen a pretty heaping pile of empty bottles by the time I left. And I dare say there were a whole bunch of games this year at home that I would have liked to have the ability to make a big pile.”
Lackey can travel with the team while injured, something Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Andrew Bailey, and other players have done.
Per Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement with the Players’ Association, a team can only force a player to remain at its spring training facility while injured for no more than 20 days without the player’s written permission.
The Red Sox used Lackey’s 20 days in April. Lackey has since been around the team to work with rehabilitation coordinator Mike Reinold.
The Red Sox traded righthander Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik to Arizona on July 31 for lefthander Craig Breslow.
Podsednik refused an assignment to Triple A Reno and was released. He returned to Boston, continued to work out, and was signed by the Red Sox on Thursday. He started in left field on Friday and went 1 for 3 in the Sox’ 3-2 win.
Ryan Kalish was optioned back to Triple A Pawtucket.
“We felt it was a little upgrade over the way Ryan was performing,” Valentine said. “A little upgrade and an experienced guy who’s used to not playing all the time. Ryan is a very good player who was a little lost here this time around. Couldn’t quite get on track and we want to make sure he gets some consecutive at-bats and feels good about himself before he comes back.”
Kalish has hit .203 with a .488 OPS over 25 games and 85 plate appearances with the Sox.
Podsednik, 36, played 19 games for the Sox from May 22 to June 17, hitting .387 with nine runs and seven RBIs.
“I enjoyed my time [with the Red Sox]. I know these guys, they know me. It’s a good fit and another opportunity to play at this level,” Podsednik said.
The Red Sox placed catcher Kelly Shoppach and infielder Mike Aviles on trade waivers before the game, according to a major league source.
If unclaimed, the player can then be traded. If claimed, the Red Sox can pull the player back, award the claiming team the player’s contract, or work out a trade.
Crawford and Nick Punto have already cleared waivers. That does not necessarily mean they will be traded, however, as teams often place many players on waivers at this time of year.
Delay for Ortiz
David Ortiz said his right Achilles’ tendon was “pretty sore” and he was told to rest. Ortiz is scheduled to go through an extended workout Saturday but now is doubtful to return on Sunday, which was his hope. Ortiz has been out since July 17 . . . The Red Sox have been working Pedro Ciriaco out in left field in an attempt to increase his versatility. Valentine considered starting Ciriaco in left on Friday night but the player wasn’t comfortable with the idea. Primarily a second baseman and shortstop, Ciriaco has the athletic ability to play other positions and Valentine envisions him being a “super-utility” player next season . . . Ryan Sweeney (broken left hand) was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Podsednik on the 40-man roster . . . Making a rehabilitation start with Pawtucket, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 4⅔ innings and faced 20 batters. He allowed five hits and two runs (both earned), with two walks and three strikeouts . . . Baseball America reported the Sox signed Venezuelan lefthander Dedgar Jimenez, 16, for $175,000. He reportedly has a fastball close to 90 m.p.h.