Wandy Rodriguez to return next Monday, with Jordan Lyles likely going back to minors

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Wandy Rodriguez threw 60 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday and Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros now expect him to come off the disabled list when eligible next Monday.

He’ll first have to avoid a setback with his elbow injury while making a rehab start Wednesday at Double-A, but Levine writes that he’ll likely be limited to 50-60 pitches in that outing.

Rodriguez said after the bullpen session that he “felt great” and “didn’t have any problem.”

Top prospect Jordan Lyles took Rodriguez’s spot in the rotation and pitched well in his debut, but the 20-year-old former first-round pick struggled yesterday versus the Padres and seems likely to be sent back down when Rodriguez returns.

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.