Current El Paso Chihuahuas third baseman Will Middlebrooks turns 27 today. Acquired over the offseason from the Red Sox in exchange for catcher Ryan Hanigan -- who spent less than a day with the Padres organization -- Middlebrooks was expected to be San Diego's solution at the hot corner, but sometimes things just don't work out the way you'd like them to. He hit .212/ .241/ .361 (.602) with just seven doubles, two triples, and nine home runs in 255 at-bats over 83 games before being optioned to El Paso on July 22.
Middlebrooks has hit ever-so-slightly better since his demotion, slashing .255/ .287/ .379 (.666) with five doubles, a triple, and four homers, but that is less an indication of improvement than it is a testimony for the extreme hitter's environment that is the Pacific Coast League. He's still down on the farm as the Chihuahuas are in the PCL playoffs. The Southern Division champions begin their first-ever postseason series tonight in Reno. Here's hoping that they win it all and Middlebrooks makes it back up to the bigs and ends the season on a high note.