David Aardsma won’t be ready for Opening Day after surgery

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When the Mariners announced last month that David Aardsma needed hip surgery they initially expressed optimism that he’d be ready for Opening Day, but yesterday trainer Rick Griffin pushed back the closer’s recovery timetable a bit.

According to Griffin he likely won’t be cleared to pitch in games until at least the second week of April, which means he’ll miss all of spring training and suggests Aardsma will require a minor-league rehab assignment to face live hitters before rejoining the Mariners’ bullpen.

Seattle had been trying to trade Aardsma prior to the discovery of a torn labrum in his hip, but the surgery and pushed-back recovery timetable likely takes him off the market until at least June even if he avoids setbacks.

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.