Jared Burton served up a pair of homers in his Twins debut on April 7 and allowed a run two appearances later, but since then he’s been unhittable. Literally.
Burton pitched a 1-2-3 inning last night against the Angels, giving him 10.2 consecutive no-hit innings dating back to April 13.
During that time batters are 0-for-32 with 11 strikeouts off him, getting on base only via two walks and two plunkings.
Minnesota’s overall team ERA is ugly because the starters have been abysmal, but the Twins’ bullpen has improved from the AL’s worst last season to the middle of the pack this year and Burton is a big reason why. Not bad for a 30-year-old who was available on a minor-league contract after multiple injury wrecked seasons with the Reds.
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.