Dominant Felix Hernandez first to go six innings this spring

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OK, so he was facing a Brewers lineup comprised strictly of Triple-A players, but Felix Hernandez was like a hot knife through butter on Friday, allowing one hit in six innings of work.

He became the first pitcher to complete six innings this spring.

Hernandez struck out six, walked one and hit a batter. Overall, he’s allowed two runs in 13 innings and posted a 13/1 K/BB ratio this spring.

The Mariners have to be feeling very good about their pitching thus far. All told, Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kevin Millwood, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush have a 2.67 ERA in 57 1/3 innings, which is terrific for Cactus League play. Only five of those guys will be in the rotation — my guess is that Beavan and Furbush get left out — but the depth should pay dividends later.

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.