The Red Sox have recently had trouble finding regular at-bats for the trio of Stephen Drew, Jose Iglesias and Will Middlebrooks. With Drew playing very well at shortstop and Iglesias and Middlebrooks being young players who need regular plate appearances to develop, something had to give.
Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Red Sox announced that they had optioned Middlebrooks to Triple-A Pawtucket, and had subsequently called up utility man Brandon Snyder. In an unrelated move announced at the same time, the team transferred catcher David Ross to the 60-day disabled list.
After an injury-shortened rookie campaign that saw Middlebrooks hit 15 home runs in 267 at-bats, earning an OPS of .834 in 2012, this season has been a disappointment. Middlebrooks has frequently been below the Mendoza line in his sophomore campaign, hitting .192 through the weekend. Though he has nine home runs in 203 at-bats, Middlebrooks owns an OPS of just .617, and doesn’t have the defensive abilities of Iglesias at third base.
Snyder, for his part, is an interesting story. The 26-year-old son of major leaguer Brian Snyder was a first-round pick by the Orioles in 2005, but struggled to hit in the low levels of the minors before finally making his way to Baltimore for 16 games in 2010 and 2011. Last year, Snyder played 40 games for Texas, going 18-for-65 with three home runs. He’s also played both corner infield and outfield positions at the big league level, and even caught one inning for the Rangers.
Ross, meanwhile, continues to struggle with symptoms after suffering his a second concussion in a month last week. He reportedly headed home to Florida, and there is no timetable for his return.