Ubaldo Jimenez's encore: 7.1 shutout innings

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Ubaldo Jimenez put on quite an encore performance Thursday, following his no-hitter by shutting out the Nationals for 7.1 innings. Jimenez allowed five hits and two walks while improving to 4-0 with a 0.95 ERA, although Jim Tracy letting him throw 121 pitches after needing 127 pitches for the no-hitter is worrisome.
He also threw 115 pitches in the start preceding the no-hitter, so Jimenez’s workload is piling up as he dominates. He topped 100 pitches in 29 of 33 starts last season, including 115 or more in 10 outings, but went beyond 120 pitches just twice and until now had never had back-to-back 120-pitch starts in his career.

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.