Cliff Lee struck in the ear and bloodied by a broken bat splinter

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Cliff Lee struggled again last night, giving up four runs in five innings while falling to 4-6 with a 4.25 ERA in 14 starts for the Rangers, but was able to narrowly avoid being the second player this month to suffer a major injury from a broken bat.
In the fourth inning Jack Cust singled up the middle to drive in the first run of the game and his bat broke into three pieces, the smallest of which struck Lee on the right ear.
Lee seemed completely unfazed at first, focusing instead on the run he just allowed and the fact that the barrel of the bat flew over his head, but then noticed that his ear was bleeding. Pitching coach Mike Maddux came out to the mound, looked at the ear and told Lee something along the lines of “yep, it’s bleeding,” and then manager Ron Washington and the trainer hopped out of the dugout to take a look.
MLB.com has the video.
Compared to Tyler Colvin he certainly got off lucky, but how long can we keep counting on players avoiding major injuries by a matter of inches?

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.