Pat Listach no longer in mix to become Cubs' new manager

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Nationals third base coach Pat Listach was on the short list to become the Cubs’ new manager, but Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the former Rookie of the Year is no longer in the running for the job.
Ladson notes that Listach “is still respected by the organization” from his days managing in the Cubs’ minor league system, including going 83-59 at Triple-A Iowa in 2008. Listach previously said the Cubs’ job would be “a dream come true.”
Instead he’ll likely try to land the gig replacing Cito Gaston in Toronto. Meanwhile, this seemingly indicates that the Cubs have narrowed their search down, with interim manager Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg the presumed front-runners.

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.