Wandy Rodriguez returning from the disabled list today was initially expected to bump rookie Jordan Lyles from the Astros’ rotation and back to the minors, but now Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that the 20-year-old right-hander will stick around.
Lyles is no longer being viewed as a fill-in starter, as the Astros will instead move Rule 5 pick Aneury Rodriguez to the bullpen and option Jeff Fulchino to Triple-A to make room for Rodriguez’s return.
Lyles followed up an impressive debut with a rough second start, but the 2008 first-round pick bounced back to throw 6.1 innings of two-run ball against the Braves on Saturday. His next start will be Thursday against the Pirates.
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.