Wednesday May 02, 2012 | 05:05 PM

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks becomes the third player from the 2011 Portland Sea Dogs to make it to Fenway Park, when he makes his major league debut tonight, batting 8th for the Red Sox (Ryan Lavarnway and Tommy Hottovy made it last year).

Middlebrooks, 23, replaces Kevin Youkilis, who is going on the disabled list with a sore back.

The Middlebrooks move is one of several moves reported out of Boston. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said pitcher Aaron Cook will be promoted and will start Saturday's game, in place of Josh Beckett (Beckett will skip a start after reporting soreness following his last start, which featured 126 pitches).

Boston was a reliever down since sending Junichi Tazawa back to Pawtucket. The Red Sox added Clayton Mortenson today, from Triple-A.

Tonight, former Sea Dogs teammates face each other when Daniel Bard pitches to Josh Reddick.

Here in Portland, outfielder Bryce Brentz (heel bruise) is still day-to-day. Outfielder Peter Hissey, who broke his left hand when hit by a pitch three weeks ago, had the cast removed today. He hopes to be swinging a bat in 10 days.

Despite some Twitter speculation, veteran first baseman Jeff Larish has not been assigned to Portland, yet. He is still in extended spring training in Fort Myers. Larish, 29, has played 101 major league games, for Detroit ad Oakland, from 2008-10. He played in Triple-A last year, in the Phillies organization.

Portland has Reynaldo Rodriguez at first base, but no real back-up.

Chris Balcom-Miller starts for the Sea Dogs tonight. Follow the tweets at ClearTheBases


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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