Cubs activate Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood from DL

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Chicago’s pitching staff is getting a big boost today, as the Cubs activated both Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood from the disabled list while sending Randy Wells and Scott Maine back to Triple-A.

Dempster has been out since April 18 with a quadriceps injury, while Wood has been sidelined by a shoulder injury since April 14.

Earlier this week manager Dale Sveum indicated that he might work Wood back into the late-inning mix somewhat slowly, perhaps giving him some appearances in the sixth- and seventh-innings as opposed to his usual eighth-inning role.

Dempster will return with a start this afternoon versus the Reds in Cincinnati, where he pitched for two seasons before joining the Cubs in 2004.

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.