Alex Rodriguez says Jose Reyes is “world’s greatest player”

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ESPNNewYork.com got the juicy quote from Alex Rodriguez today, asking him how he feels about Jose Reyes and the Mets.

“They have the world’s greatest player playing shortstop over there, and the most exciting,” Rodriguez said. “I turn on the TV every time I get a chance to watch him.”

And Reyes’ response:

“I appreciate that from him. But that’s something that, it’s not going to go to my head,” he said. “But I appreciate that, that he said that. He’s a good friend of mine too, Alex. So it’s good, man. He’s one of the best players in the game. So I appreciate it.”

Of course, A-Rod’s comment could be portrayed as a dig at Derek Jeter.  That’s what happened two years ago, when, at the World Baseball Classic, A-Rod said of Reyes: “I wish he was leading off on our team or playing on our team, that’s fun to watch.”

Rodriguez later had to apologize because of the play the comment got in New York.  This one, though, should hardly be taken as a shot at Jeter, because it’s just laughable to even put Jeter and Reyes in the same league given the performance of both this year.  In 2009, Jeter vs. Reyes was a legitimate argument and A-Rod’s commented was fuel for the fire.

In 2011, A-Rod isn’t comparing Reyes to anyone on the Yankees, because there’s simply no one else like him in New York.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.