Freddy Sanchez to begin playing rehab games Monday

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Via Spencer Fordin, contributor to MLB.com:

The Giants announced Saturday that second baseman Freddy Sanchez will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment Monday with Class A San Jose in the hope that he will be able to perform defensively by the middle of the week.

Sanchez will be limited to DH duties initially as he continues to build strength around his surgically-repaired right shoulder. He should join the Giants’ starting lineup about a week after he’s cleared to begin playing second base in minor league rehab games.

Sanchez hasn’t played in a major league game since June 10, 2011. He’s a .297/.335/.413 career hitter.

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.