The White Sox already have a short list to replace Ozzie Guillen

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Ken Williams, noting that they’ve had “warnings” that Ozzie Guillen would not be back in 2012, said last night that he already has a narrowed-down list of candidates to replace Guillen as White Sox manager.  According to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago, Buddy Bell is at the top of that short list.

It’s hard to say how much juice there is to Bell’s candidacy — I’m sure a lot of names will spin out in the coming days and weeks — but Bell is currently in a the Sox’ front office, so it makes sense that his name comes up.  If there is any traction to the idea of Bell taking over, you can probably imagine that the Sox are going to do their best to blow up the current roster and rebuild, because that’s pretty much Bell’s niche in the world as a manager.

Indeed, he has had three previous stints as a manager. In at least two of those cases — Detroit and Kansas City — he was part of a full-fledged rebuilding effort. He led both of those teams to a .399 winning percentage. He had more to work with in Colorado and finished at .465.

We’re less than 12 hours from the announcement of Ozzie Guillen’s departure so, sure, take what you hear about his replacement with a grain of salt. But to the extent we hear more names like Bell’s, the greater suggestion it is that Kenny Williams is going to tear it all down and start from scratch.

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.