In response to moonslav59's comment:
Like I said, I have confidence in Middy for 2014. I do think he will do better than 2013 both at bat and in the field, but I am worried he may not, and don't think Holt or Snyder are good enough to take his place if he struggles or gets hurt.
I have more faith in Bogey, but it wouldn't hurt to get a strong defensive back-up SS just in case he struggles or gets hurt. A back-up SS would cover both Middy and Bogey, and would even help if we had a big issue at 1B as Middy could cover 1B in a pinch.
Yes, Middy's OPS has improved pretty steadily through the minors, but he still has a lot to prove. I'm OK with 25Hr and a .320 OBP as long as he fields more like 2012 than 2013. I expect numbers something like that, but think we could use insurance on the left-side defense.
I've been a big supporter of Middlebrooks, but I do admit that it's a cautious optimism. I just like his power potential because I really think he can be a 30-home run guy and a solid No. 5 hitter. If he could return to his 2012 form, the Sox could do something Ortiz-Naplie-Middlebrooks at 3-4-5. That could be some nice middle-of-the-order pop. Of course, Middlebrooks show that he deserves to move up.
The one thing that helps is that he struggled when he first got to Triple A then was great the next go-around. He carried that momentum up to Boston. Then in his first go-round in Boston to start the season, he struggled, but when he came back, he showed a lot of improvement and now seems to have the right attitude.
So I'm hopeful.
Defensively, he needs to put it together. He was better fielding in 2012 than 2013 but his throwing was better in 2013.
I do agree. The Sox need the utility infielder -- someone who can play SS and 3B and at least hold his own. I'd like for him to play both, because if Middlebrooks needs a day off, I'd rather keep Bogaerts at SS instead of switching him back and forth.