Reds call back lefty Travis Wood for Thursday start

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The Reds optioned rookie left-hander Travis Wood to Triple-A Louisville in early August in an attempt to limit his innings total.  Well, that’s all over.  He was called back to the big leagues on Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to start this evening against the Diamondbacks.

Wood, 23, has posted a 2.65 ERA and 0.88 WHIP this season in his first eight major league starts, striking out 40 batters and walking only 13 over 51 innings.  Whether the time off and extended rest will affect his rhythm remains to be seen, but our guess is that it won’t.  He has not once looked over-matched this season.

The Reds have a three-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central and are going for a sweep of the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Thursday.  Wood should remain an active member of the Cincinnati starting rotation down the stretch as the Reds attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

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.