Link-O-Rama: Oh, Dayton!

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* Dayton Moore’s latest explanation
for acquiring Yuniesky Betancourt: “We have people who believe Yuniesky
Betancourt is going to continue to get better through a change of
scenery. When our top advisors, people I consider the very best
evaluators in the game, advise me that, ‘If you can get this guy, you
get him,’ that’s exactly what we did.”

I’ll surely revisit the trade and Moore’s various quotes
at the end of the season, when Betancourt has had the opportunity to be
a horrible player for another few months, but in the meantime what are
the odds that the Royals have “the very best evaluators in the game”?
And are they the same guys who thought trading for Tony Pena Jr. and
handing him a starting job was a good idea?

* Fausto Carmona has responded well to being sent down to the minors last month. He took a shutout into the seventh inning
last night at Triple-A and is now 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA in five starts
since the demotion. Perhaps most importantly he’s handed out just four
walks in 32.1 innings after walking 41 batters in 60.2 frames with the
Indians.

* Ian Snell has also thrived following his self-imposed demotion to Triple-A. He allowed just one unearned run in 6.1 innings last night, giving him a spectacular 0.34 ERA and 34/8 K/BB ratio in 26.1 innings at Indianapolis.

* T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports
that the Rangers “have officially entered themselves in the Roy
Halladay sweepstakes.” While that just makes them one of many teams
interested in the Blue Jays’ ace, the Rangers’ superior stable of
prospects could make them the front-runners for Halladay if they decide
to take the plunge.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.