Bryce Harper goes 2-for-4 with a steal in Triple-A debut

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Bryce Harper made his Triple-A debut yesterday–more than six months shy of his 20th birthday–and went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.

Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post notes that Harper’s arrival at Triple-A generated nowhere near the hype of Stephen Strasburg reaching the minors’ highest level in 2010, as Syracuse’s ballpark “was less than half-full … with only a small media contingent on hand.”

Harper admitted afterward that he tried “to do way too much” while in Nationals camp and “getting sent down made me calm down and stay within myself.”

Now we’ll see how long he stays down.

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.