Johan Santana thinks there’s no reason for concern after he gave up five runs — four earned — in 2 2/3 innings Friday in a loss to the Tigers.
ESPN’s Adam Rubin has the quotes:
I was able to throw some fastballs with more intensity this time. And I’m feeling good. It’s a process. And I’m building up.
I feel fine. It was a tough day. It was a challenge out there. These guys were swinging. I tried to locate some pitches that I wasn’t able to. But that’s what we’re here for. … I wasn’t consistent throwing my fastball for strikes. That’s something you work on.
Santana, who is coming off shoulder surgery, showed his best velocity of the spring, hitting 90 and 91 mph on the gun more frequently than he had in his previous two starts. That didn’t lead to any strikeouts today, but it’s still a good sign. He’s still penciled in for Opening Day.
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.