Rays' Dioner Navarro suspended two games

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Dioner Navarro headshot.jpgThat’s what happens when you bump an ump, which is what Navarro did on Friday night. Navaro was apologetic after the game, admitting that he just lost his temper.  Baseball seems to have acknowledged that in the form of a very brief suspension, though there’s a fine too.

Navarro will really only have to miss one game for all practical purposes, seeing as how he’s a catcher and all and that the Rays can easily schedule a normal off-day for him.  Still, you can’t go into battle with one catcher, so they had to make a roster move: Reliever Mike Ekstrom was optioned to Durham  and catcher
Jose Lobaton recalled.

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.