KANSAS CITY -- It takes a ballplayer to really know one.
During his recent stint at Triple-A Pawtucket, Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks had the opportunity to watch prize prospect Xander Bogaerts on a daily basis and came away convinced that Bogaerts' potential is as special as advertised.
"What an athlete he is," Middlebrooks said. "He's really young [20 years old] and really raw, but he has some of the best tools I've ever seen. Once he polishes those, he's going to be a really good ballplayer."
Asked if he considered himself to be in competition with Bogaerts for a callup to the Major League club, Middlebrooks was quick to respond.
"Not at all," Middlebrooks said. "I didn't see it as a competition at all. I was there to help him. Whatever position he plays ... he's going to be really good at it."
Workman buckles down in high-pressure spot
KANSAS CITY -- Red Sox manager John Farrell is likely to think of right-hander Brandon Workman the next time Boston needs to defuse a big rally in the middle innings.
On Saturday, the Red Sox were in jeopardy of being bowled over by a big Royals' uprising for the second night in a row. But Workman bailed out Felix Doubront by entering the game in the fifth inning and preserving a 4-3 lead when it looked like Kansas City was poised to wipe out a four-run deficit.
The Royals had drawn within 4-2 and had runners at first and third with nobody out when Workman was summoned. Coming in with men on base was a new experience for the young right-hander.
"It's the first time I've ever done that," Workman said. "It's definitely a lot more of a high-pressure situation than being able to have my own inning. But it kind of made me a little more focused to execute my pitches a little better."
Workman wasn't perfect. He allowed an RBI single to Miguel Tejada and a double steal that put men at second and third with one out. But Workman roared back to get Mike Moustakas on a popup and Brett Hayes on a strikeout to protect the one-run lead.
"Given where we were in the game, he was the choice," Farrell said. "There was no hesitation there."
The reward for Workman was that he picked up a win. He's the first Red Sox rookie to win three straight appearances since Justin Masterson in 2008.
Ross on track to return as soon as Aug. 19
KANSAS CITY -- David Ross continues to make progress while working his way back from a concussion. The catcher is on track to rejoin the Red Sox around the time they open a three-game series in San Francisco on Aug. 19.
Manager John Farrell said Ross came out of a Double-A rehab game on Saturday with no complications and is scheduled to join Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday.
Ross will be on a schedule to DH and catch every other day until he ultimately logs back-to-back games behind the plate.
"Provided that there are no unforeseen setbacks, he would be eligible when we get to San Francisco," Farrell said.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.