Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Editor's note: Didier Morais will review each position for the Red Sox for the 2013 season. A new era is upon the Red Sox at third base. Midway through the 2012 season –– when Boston shipped out Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox after nine seasons –– Will Middlebrooks officially took the reigns as the franchise's third baseman of the future. Through 75 games, Middlebrooks wasted no time proving his value in the big leagues, launching 15 home runs and 54 RBIs while hitting .288. As each week went on, the 24-year-old's defense improved. But on Aug. 10, his sensational rookie ride ended when Indians reliever Esmil Rogers nailed him on the wrist with a 95 mph fastball. It wound up being a broken wrist that sidelined Middlebrooks for the rest of the season. During the last series of the season, Middlebrooks' rehab took a promising turn, when he took batting practice for the first time since the injury. Afterward, he admitting to feeling surprised about his strength. Even so, Middlebrooks will use the offseason to heal and prepare to return to spring training with full health. Like Dustin Pedroia at second base, third base is one of the few positions on the roster that has a long-term solution. Should Middlebrooks get injured down the road, the Red Sox still have depth at the position with Pedro Ciriaco –– who filled in for Middlebrooks down the stretch during the 2012 season. Naturally a shortstop, Ciriaco honed his craft at third base and demonstrated the necessary range to thrive, if necessary. The Red Sox also traded for Danny Valencia to offer additional depth as well. Ultimately, there are no questions here. With a year of experience under his belt, Middlebrooks is primed to maintain his offensive momentum next season when he's cleared for action. Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Titus Young avoids prison, receives probation

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland to golf community

Harris sues Mayweather for $20M for lying in an interview with Katie Couric

The NBA needs to leave 'hack-a-whoever' rules alone

Top Rank threatens to sue over Mayweather-Pacquiao piracy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Titans already tailoring offense to suit Mariota's strengths

Pettine: Manziel isn't favorite for Browns' starting QB job

Randy Gregory denies 'weed problem,' says he's immature

Jameis Winston wants Bucs to sign LSU OT La'El Collins

Chris Bosh on blood clot diagnosis: ‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Eagles coach Chip Kelly made a mess at quarterback

WATCH: Stephen Curry nails shot from hallway prior to game

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

No homers, no problem for Cubs' Kris Bryant

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

NFL releases times and dates for preseason slate

Fans file $5M class action suit against Pacquiao over injury

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

Brandon Prust sorry for saying referee ‘tries to play God’

Ron Roenicke and the career afterlives of fired managers

Knicks announcer's MVP ballot had Curry behind Marc Gasol

Edelman mocks Belichick in Cinco de Mayo tweet

Projecting the 2015 MLB All-Star Game rosters after April

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

Chris Bosh on blood clot diagnosis: ‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Projecting the All-Star Game rosters

Tiger hasn't slept in three days since Lindsey Vonn breakup

2015 NBA Draft big board, first edition

Eliminate Hack-A-Player: Don't reward violating sports rules

No easy solution to the problem of early NFL draft entrants

What’s next for the Spurs?

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.