Tim Hudson throws well in third minor league rehab start

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Tim Hudson’s third minor-league rehab start was a big improvement over his first two outings, as the rehabbing right-hander threw five innings of one-run ball at Triple-A last night.

Hudson, who’s recovering from November back surgery, threw 48 of 76 pitches for strikes while allowing two hits and three walks with four strikeouts. He also induced eight ground balls, which is a good sign.

Barring a setback it looks like Hudson will make one final rehab outing at Triple-A on Tuesday, with the goal being somewhere around six innings and 100 pitches, and then come off the disabled list on April 29 or 30.

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.