Pedro "absolutely" coming back, but is he worth the risk?

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Ken Rosenthal talked to Pedro Martinez’s agent who says that Pedro is “absolutely” coming back, that he feels “rejuvenated” and that this time he wants to pitch all season, not just be a mid-season rental.

This is great in the sense that Pedro Martinez is awesome and is great to have around baseball for all kinds of intangible and historical reasons.

This is not so great in the sense that Pedro’s best starts in the post season came on 16 and 12 days rest, and that he got beat up and looked to have absolutely nothing in the tank for Game Six of the World Series, which he pitched on five days rest.  Also, it’s worth noting that his two best starts of the regular season came against the punchless Mets and Giants, none of his nine regular season starts came against a playoff team, and seven of his nine starts came against teams that were at or below league average for offense in the NL.

None of which is to say that taking a chance on Martinez is a bad move.  But if you do take a chance, you’d be well-advised not to stake your season on a healthy and productive Pedro.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.