Dusty Baker declines comment on feud, lets Reds’ bats do the talking against Derek Lowe

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Dusty Baker and Derek Lowe had a war of words last week that culminated in Lowe saying “I have zero respect for the guy” and Baker saying “there was a good chance he was drinking at the ballpark.”

Not surprisingly last night’s rematch series between the Reds and Indians drew a ton of media coverage from reporters looking to delve back into the feud, but both Baker and Lowe took the high road by declining to comment.

And then Baker’s hitters smacked Lowe around for seven runs on 11 hits, causing his ERA to balloon to 4.30 after being 2.15 as recently as May 25. Last week’s back-and-forth all started because Lowe believes Baker instructs pitchers to plunk him, but last night’s game featured no incidents. Well, except for Reds starter Mat Latos accusing the Indians of stealing his signs.

So much drama!

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.