Mariners’ starter Cliff Lee played catch yesterday and reported continued discomfort in his injured abdomen. The hope was that the few days of rest he’s had would have made things better, but apparently not. Don Wakamatsu put a positive spin on things, saying that he was pleased that Lee “did not feel any sharp pain in there.”
Regardless, Wakamatsu admits that Lee won’t be ready for his first start, which would likely come in Game 2 of the season.
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.