Jim Edmonds and Ryan Franklin take post-retirement roles with Cardinals

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Jim Edmonds canceled his comeback attempt last spring, signing a minor-league contract with the Cardinals and then retiring before reporting to camp.

This time around he’ll be at Cardinals camp, wearing his familiar No. 15, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Edmonds will be a “special instructor.”

And according to Strauss, if things go well for Edmonds it “might lead to deeper involvement with the organization, possibly in a consultant role to general manager John Mozeliak.”

Strauss also reports that former closer Ryan Franklin has already been hired as a special assistant to the GM and “will advise Mozeliak on personnel and perform regional scouting chores based out of his Oklahoma home.” Franklin retired last season at age 38 after being released by the Cardinals in June with a 8.46 ERA in 21 appearances.

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.