UPDATE: Roy Oswalt has left the Phillies due to tornadoes near his home in Mississippi. Again.

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3:03 PM:  The Phillies have just announced that Oswalt left the team due to concern regarding his family back home due to tornadoes in the area over the past several days.  There was some confusion on this earlier because it was almost exactly a year ago that Oswalt had to leave the Astros following the destruction of his boyhood home in Mississippi.  Here’s Ruben Amaro’s statement:

“There has been a tremendous amount of tornado activity near Roy’s home in Mississippi resulting in several tragic deaths and significant devastation to the area.  Because of this, Roy is concerned about his family’s well-being.  He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn’t significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are okay.  It is almost a year to the day that his parents’ home was destroyed by a tornado which has heightened his concern about the current situation.We are hopeful that he will rejoin the team for his next start, but will take that day by day.”

His next start is not scheduled until next Tuesday, so there is hope that he will be back with the team by then. He could, thanks to offdays, go as late as May 7th if need be.

Here’s hoping his family is OK. And that Mother effing Nature will start steering tornadoes away from Oswalt’s neck of the woods. They’ve had enough.

1:18 PM: No details on this at the moment, but here’s Matt Gelb from the Philly Inquirer on Roy Oswalt:

A Phillies official says Roy Oswalt has left the team for personal reasons. No expected return date. Oswalt was not removed from the game for those personal reasons. He was taken out by Manuel because of his ineffectiveness.

There aren’t many things that could cause this that would constitute good news.  We’ll obviously update when more is learned.

UPDATE: Jim Salisbury’s story at CSN Philly fills in some details, including a lot of time on the phone and stuff for Oswalt before the game.  Could be his poor performance last night was because he was distracted?

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.