The Cardinals interviewed Mike Matheny, not Terry Francona, for manager today

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Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that while the Cardinals interviewed former catcher and fan favorite Mike Matheny for their managerial vacancy today, they didn’t meet with Terry Francona.

John Dennis of WEEI in Boston, who was all over the Theo Epstein situation, reported yesterday that Francona was en route to St. Louis for an interview, but that apparently didn’t happen. However, it’s not yet clear if the Cardinals simply intend to interview the former Red Sox manager at a later date or if he is no longer under consideration for the job.

In addition to Matheny, the Cardinals met this week with Triple-A Memphis manager Chris Maloney and new White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing. More candidates could surface in the coming days, but Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo and Cubs legend and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg are also expected to get interviews.

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.