Monday, June 25, 2012
One Last Kick In The Balls For Youk: Middlebrooks Named AL Player Of The Week
In what can only be called a stroke of perfectly ironic timing, Boston Red Sox rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks was named the American League player of the week today.
It's so fitting because former third baseman Kevin Youkilis was shipped to the Chicago White Sox yesterday afternoon, ending one era while another one just begins. For what it's worth, Youk is in the lineup tonight batting second and playing third base for Chicago as they face Cleveland.
To earn the award, sure to be the first of many for Middlebrooks, in six games last week against Miami and Atlanta, he went 10-for-16 for a batting average of .625, three home runs, 10 RBIs, three doubles and an insane 2.007 OPS.
His highlights for the week included a two-run bomb on Thursday against the Marlins that helped the Red Sox rally and he was a triple shy of a cycle in Saturday's win against the Braves.
In 2012, Middlebrooks is now hitting .326 with nine homers and a .949 OPS in 41 games. Prior to getting called up to the majors in early May, he was hitting .333 with nine homers in only 24 games for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Getting rid of Youk, letting Middlebrooks play third base everyday and shifting Adrian Gonzalez back to first base full-time and out of the outfield was one of the easiest decisions in recent Red Sox history. Let's see how the team responds to a more stable lineup and less negativity coming from Youk sitting on the bench, pouting and being a prick to the media.