Giancarlo Stanton leaves Saturday’s game with right knee discomfort

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UPDATE: Uh-oh. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Stanton left the game with right knee discomfort.

5:28 PM: This doesn’t sound promising.

After appearing as a pinch-hitter last night, Giancarlo Stanton was back in the Marlins’ starting lineup this afternoon for the first time since Monday. But his return didn’t last long. He had a single in his only at-bat and played right field for two innings before Scott Cousins pinch-hit for him in the third.

The Marlins have yet to make an announcement on the reason for his exit, but Stanton is currently dealing with a “loose body” in his right knee and it’s believed he’ll eventually require surgery. A setback could put him at risk for missing the upcoming Home Run Derby and All-Star Game and perhaps the start of the second half.

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.