Rangers left-hander Derek Holland pitched a four-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays for his fourth shutout in his last 11 starts.
He matched Cliff Lee for the major league lead with four shutouts this season, and he has as many shutouts in two months as possible Hall of Famer Andy Pettitte did in 16 seasons.
Even with all of his recent success, Holland has a 4.14 ERA for the season. He’s allowed five earned runs or more in seven of his 22 starts.
Still, today’s performance should make him pretty close to untouchable in trade discussions (supposedly, the Padres have asked for him in the Heath Bell talks). Holland is just 24, and he has the stuff to shut down any offense when he’s on. His inconsistency is a concern, but he’s someone the Rangers are likely to need if they’re going to make another deep run into the postseason.
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.