Remember last year how we couldn’t go a day in spring training without hearing about strained oblique muscles? Yeah, that was great. This year we have a new fashionable muscle strain: starting pitcher backs.
Tim Lincecum the other day, Clayton Kershaw yesterday. Today it’s Wandy Rodriguez.
Will back strains become as popular as strained obliques? Hard to say, really. It used to be that the classics — hamstrings, mostly — never went out of style. Now we’re in a strange new world where there are no limits to what can rule the injury fashion landscape.
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.