Marlins sign Shawn Hill to a minor league contract

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The Marlins have signed Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The 29-year-old right-hander will receive an invite to major league spring training and will make $600,000 if he makes the team.

The native Canadian was released by the Blue Jays in November after posting a 2.61 ERA and 14/4 K/BB ratio over four starts as a September call-up. He spent most of last season rehabbing from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, posting a 1.61 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio over 11 minor league outings.

Hill has averaged 2.79 BB/9 over 239 major league innings and has a career ground ball rate of 48.9 percent, so there’s some upside here if he’s finally healthy. He’ll function as an insurance policy more than anything else.

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.