Jhoulys Chacin is NOT in the Best Shape of His Life

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The winter isn’t just for those players who are in the Best Shape of Their Lives.  Sometimes guys go in the opposite direction.  For example, according to the Denver Post, Colorado Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd is not pleased with Jhoulys Chacin’s conditioning:

Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin disappointed O’Dowd with his offseason workouts. O’Dowd believes Chacin needs to drop weight, because the added pounds affect the balance in his delivery and undermine his fastball command. Chacin spent much of the winter training in Venezuela rather than working out in Tucson. A person close to Chacin said Thursday the right-hander weighs 226 pounds — and expects to be close to the 218 he was last spring when he reports to spring training Feb. 19.

Chacin, while obviously effective, had some issues last year with forearm tightness and things like that. He also had his heaviest workload ever, however, so anything that is going to keep him healthy and in the rotation is a good thing. So, yeah, burn some of that weight, Jhoulys.

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.