Normally bench coach news isn’t one of our focuses, but since Joe Maddon and Ron Roenicke both landed manager gigs after serving as Mike Scioscia’s right-hand man it seems worth noting that Rob Picciolo has been named the new Angels bench coach.
Picciolo has served as the Angels’ “roving infield instructor” for the past five years and before that was a coach in the Padres’ organization for 16 seasons, so he’s definitely long on experience.
Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register reports that Roenicke wanted Picciolo to come with him to Milwaukee, but it’s tough to blame him for wanting to see if he can make it three in a row for the Angels bench coach-to-manager progression.
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.