Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 7 Days

Middlebrooks (illness) is back in the lineup Thursday against the Royals, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports.

With his bout with the flu similarly passing its course, Middlebrooks will return to his usual duties at the hot corner. Even with the promise of regular at-bats likely coming his way the rest of the season, it's hard to trust Middlebrooks as a fantasy option while his average remains well below the Mendoza Line.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 8 Days

Middlebrooks (illness) is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Orioles.

Middlebrooks was forced out of Monday's game after coming down with the flu, and he'll receive another day off to recover. The lightly-used Carlos Rivero will pick up a start at third base with Middlebrooks unavailable.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 9 Days

Middlebrooks left Tuesday's game with an illness, the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson reports.

Middlebrooks is now the third Boston player to leave a game with an illness recently, joining Brock Holt and Mike Napoli. With a slash line of .184/.251/.263, Middlebrooks has seen his value dip about as low as it can go this season, and there are likely serious internal questions about whether he has a significant future with the team. He should be considered day-to-day going forward.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 14 Days

The Red Sox have talked with Middlebrooks about playing winter ball, ESPN Boston reports. The 26-year-old third baseman has just 289 plate appearances this season, 179 in the majors.

Middlebrooks, who's been dealing with a litany of injuries this year, has struggled since returning to the Red Sox on Aug. 1, posting a slash line of .172/.206/.226/.432. He's hitless in his last 15 at-bats. The organization feels he can find himself as a major league hitter and is hoping more at-bats this winter will help.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 15 Days

Middlebrooks is out of the lineup Wednesday against the Yankees, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.

After another four-strikeout game Tuesday -- his second in seven starts -- Middlebrooks will head to the bench, with Jemile Weeks finding his way into the lineup as a part of the shuffle. Middlebrooks has gone without a hit in his last three starts to sink his batting average to .183 on the campaign. The promise Middlebrooks showed in his 2012 MLB debut seems to have faded considerably over the last two seasons, creating questions if he'll ever be the long-term answer at third base for the Red Sox.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 19 Days

Middlebrooks is out of the lineup Saturday at Tampa Bay, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.

Middlebrooks has started seven consecutive games at third base, during which he hit .207 (6-for-29) with five RBI and no other counting stats. In his stead, Brock Holt is covering the hot corner and batting leadoff.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 21 Days

Middlebrooks went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Wednesday night and finished the three-game series in Toronto 1-for-13 with eight strikeouts.

Middlebrooks continues to scuffle. Since his return to Boston, he's hitting .178/.221/.247 with 23 strikeouts in 77 plate appearances. When all options are available to manager John Farrell -- when Xander Bogaerts is healthy and Rusney Castillo is with the parent club -- he can easily find at-bats for Brock Holt at third base in place of Middlebrooks.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 26 Days

Middlebrooks went 0-for-4 in Friday night's loss to the Mariners. He had been dealing with a hamstring injury.

Middlebrooks didn't start the previous game as a precaution, but ended up entering mid game. Since his return to active duty, Middlebrooks is hitting just .173/.218/.231 with 13 strikeouts in 55 plate appearances. Injuries have certainly had an impact, but it's still fair to question whether or not Middlebrooks will be a consistent hitter in the major leagues. He and Jackie Bradley are two prospects of diminishing value that could find a new start elsewhere.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 27 Days

Middlebrooks (hamstring) entered Thursday's game in the fourth inning and went 1-for-2 in a loss to the Angels. He was not in the starting lineup because of a hamstring injury suffered Tuesday.

Middlebrooks was part of the roster shuffle to replace Yoenis Cespedes, who left the game to deal with a family medical emergency. Brock Holt, who started at third moved to the outfield with Middlebrooks replacing him at third.

Will Middlebrooks 3B BOS 28 Days

Middlebrooks (hamstring) said that he wasn't 100 percent before Thursday's game that he ultimately sat out for, but he could have played if needed, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.

Middlebrooks' injury has been downplayed throughout its entirety, so his potential return to the diamond is a real possibility against the Mariners on Friday. If he's unable to play yet again, Brock Holt seems like the probably replacement.