Break between series gave Matt Holliday time to get healthy

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Matt Holliday has been limited by a hand injury throughout the postseason, but the Cardinals left fielder told Matthew Leach of MLB.com that the time off between the NLCS and World Series has allowed him to get much healthier.

“I feel pretty good about where I’m at,” Holliday told Leach. “I think [the off days] have been beneficial to everybody. One playoff game is similar to playing four regular season games just as far as how taxing mentally and physically they can be.”

Holliday was out of the starting lineup for the Cardinals’ first three playoff games, but has started all eight games since then while going 11-for-30 (.367) with one homer, two doubles, and five RBIs.

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.