Padres place Tim Stauffer on disabled list with elbow injury

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Tim Stauffer was the Padres’ starter on Opening Day last season and went on to throw 186 innings with a 3.73 ERA overall, but he began this season on the disabled list with a strained right elbow.

Stauffer tested the injury by playing catch earlier this week, but told Corey Brock of MLB.com that “it didn’t feel great” and “it wasn’t where it needs to be.”

Stauffer also estimated that he’s 60-70 percent healthy, so Edinson Volquez took the Opening Day assignment–losing to the Dodgers–and he’ll try to come off the disabled list when eligible on April 19.

Thanks to the schedule San Diego will only need a fifth starter once during that time, so Brock speculates that Micah Owings or Anthony Bass would get the spot start.

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.