Geovany Soto loses 40 pounds

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Geovany Soto headshot.jpgCharlie Manuel may be the biggest loser this offseason, but he has some competition in Geovany Soto:

Soto didn’t wait for the new year to change his eating habits. He has
dropped 40 pounds since the 2009 season ended on Oct. 4. He’ll need a
new uniform. Soto went from a size 42 waist to size 36.

“I felt I needed to do something, I felt I needed to go to the
next level,” said Soto, who had been listed in the Cubs media guide at
a polite 230 pounds. “I felt I needed to show my teammates I’m really
into this, I really want to play, I want to play hard, I’m committed to
this and I want to win.

33 pounds of that was eyebrow hair. True story.

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.