Reds GM Walt Jocketty says Sean Marshall “a possibility” to close

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The Reds held a conference call earlier this afternoon to introduce Sean Marshall, who was acquired from the Cubs for Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes.

Marshall has primarily pitched in a set-up role over the past two seasons, but Jon Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds general manager Walt Jocketty didn’t dismiss the possibility that the southpaw could take over ninth-inning duties next season.

“It’s a possibility,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We’re still talking with (Francisco) Cordero. If we don’t sign him or acquire a closer, we have several guys who we feel can go to that role and Sean would certainly be one of them.”

The Reds declined Cordero’s $12 million option for 2012 in late-October. The Red Sox have reportedly backed off the 36-year-old right-hander due to his desire for a multi-year contract and declining strikeout rate in 2011, so he’s running out of potential destinations to close. The Reds would receive a supplemental first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft if he signs elsewhere.

Marshall is set to become a free agent himself next offseason, but Jocketty indicated that they are going to make every effort to sign him to an extension.

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.