Phil Hughes to make two more rehab starts

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Joe Girardi confirmed yesterday that Phil Hughes will make two more rehab starts, probably one at Double-A Trenton and one at Triple-A Scranton, after which — assuming everything goes well — he could be back with the Yankees before the All-Star break.

As we mentioned over the weekend, Hughes struck out seven batters and hit 95 mph with his fastball in his rehab start for Single-A Staten Island.  With Bartolo Colon out, the return of an effective Phil Hughes is pretty darn important, so the Yankees will be hoping that velocity stays up.

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.