Reds “audition” free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez

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Dusty Baker is still trying to decide who will be asked to replace Ryan Madson as closer, but in the meantime free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez worked out for the Reds yesterday.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com described it as an “audition” and says Gonzalez “was spotted throwing in a bullpen session at the Reds’ complex.”

Sean Marshall, Bill Bray, and Aroldis Chapman (if he doesn’t win a rotation spot) mean the Reds have no shortage of left-handed relievers, but Gonzalez is certainly one of the few remaining free agents with decent upside and threw 53 innings with a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio last year.

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.