Jack Cust accepts minor league assignment

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Jack Cust has officially accepted a minor league assignment with Triple-A Sacramento, reports Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse. Cust was pretty upset — and rightfully so — when he was designated for assignment just one week ago, calling the decision “a joke,” but he would have been a dope to pass up $2.65 million guaranteed.

Cust, 31, batted just .240/.356/.417 with 25 homers, 70 RBI and a .773 OPS last season, easily his worst season in Oakland, but he shouldn’t stay too far away from a phone with Eric Chavez currently drawing the majority of at-bats as the designated hitter. Chavez, who hasn’t resembled anything close to an imposing hitter since 2005, is 3-for-18 (.167) to begin the year. Staying off the field may be the best way to preserve his health, but as we all know by now, he could suffer an injury at any time.

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.