The oblique epidemic has claimed yet another victim.
Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Derrek Lee was pulled from Monday’s game against the Red Sox with a strained left oblique. He was replaced at first base by Jake Fox in the bottom of the third inning after going 1-for-2 with an RBI double.
Lee, who signed a one-year, $7.25 million contract over the winter, is batting just .231/.311/.346 with four home runs, 14 RBI and a .657 OPS over his first 177 plate appearances this season.
If Lee needs a trip to the disabled list, which is often the case with these type of injuries, it’s possible that the Orioles could put Luke Scott at first base in order to rest his right shoulder while giving Felix Pie regular duty in left field.
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.