Last week Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped at gunpoint in Venezuela and now Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Reds prospect Juan Francisco was robbed at gunpoint in the Dominican Republic yesterday.
According to the general manager of Francisco’s winter ball team he had stopped for something to eat while going to visit his parents and four men were involved in the robbery.
Francisco, who was born in the Dominican Republic and has totaled 81 games for the Reds during the past three seasons, was unharmed.
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.