Former saves leader Chad Cordero announces retirement

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Chad Cordero, who saved a league-leading 47 games as a 23-year-old in 2005 and has recently been pitching for the independent league St. Paul Saints, announced his retirement at age 29.

He followed up that 47-save season with 29 saves in 2006 and 37 saves in 2007, but Cordero has pitched a grand total of just 14 innings in the majors since then because of arm injuries.

Cordero ranks fourth all time in saves through age 25 with 128, but saved zero games from 26 on and is done before turning 30. He made one All-Star team and earned more than $11 million in salary despite the early decline.

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.