MLB.com’s Matthew Leach has`some excellent news for Cardinals fans and those lucky enough to land the No. 1 pick in fantasy drafts this spring. Albert Pujols, who has dealt with a right elbow injury for much of his career, has been given a 95 percent chance of avoiding Tommy John surgery.
“If I recall, that’s what Dr. [James] Andrew s and Dr. [George] Paletta agreed, Pujols said Sunday. “There’s a 95 percent that I’ll feel good.
Pujols first injured his elbow back in 2003 but has been able to play through the pain and discomfort with only one minor procedure. Albert hit .327/.443/.658 last season with 45 doubles, 47 home runs and 135 RBI. He owns an unreal .334/.427/.628 career batting line.
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.