As expected, John McLaren has officially been named the Nationals’ interim manager following Jim Riggleman’s resignation yesterday, but apparently he’s not long for the job either.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that McLaren will manage the team this weekend but “general manager Mike Rizzo is expected to name another interim manager by Monday.”
Most of the speculation so far has centered on Davey Johnson ultimately getting the full-time job. Johnson managed the Mets to a World Series win in 1986 and has a .564 winning percentage in 14 total seasons for the Mets, Orioles, Reds, and Dodgers.
Johnson is currently working in the Nationals’ front office, but hasn’t managed since going 86-76 with the Dodgers in 2000 and is 68 years old.
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.