UPDATE: Duchscherer headed back to DL

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duchscherer cap.jpgUPDATE:  Duchscherer has been placed back on the disabled list, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee.  Chad Gaudin has been designated for assignment.  And Kurt Suzuki was activated from the disabled list.

11:40am: Justin Duchscherer was activated Saturday after spending three weeks on the disabled list and was scheduled to start last night against the Angels.  But something went wrong with his hip during pregame drills and he was scratched in favor of Tyson Ross.

“As I was throwing (on flat ground), my hip felt OK, but it just got
kind of achy,” Duchscherer said Saturday. “Then when I was in the bullpen, I just
couldn’t find a way to land without having pain.  I started throwing from the stretch, and then I told [pitching coach Curt Young]: `I can’t throw like this.”‘

A’s manager Bob Geren indicated in his post-game press conference that Duchscherer is likely to land on the disabled list yet again.  And now the “Duke of Hurl” himself is worried that the injury might require surgery:

“If I have to have surgery, I’m done for the year,” Duchscherer said.
“That’s obviously not an option I want to explore unless it’s
absolutely necessary. I don’t want to do it. It’s very mentally
draining.”

Hopefully he can avoid the procedure and get back on track in a couple of weeks.  Duchscherer has made five starts this year and currently stands 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

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.