Jonathan Lucroy was off to a surprising start before suffering a fracture in his right hand almost two months ago. But he’s inching closer to rejoining the Brewers’ lineup.
According to Brewers’ media relations director Mike Vassallo, Lucroy is tentatively scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Wisconsin.
Lucroy began taking batting practice in the cage over the weekend and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that he was blocking balls in the dirt before tonight’s game against the Cardinals. It’s possible he could return by the end of the month if all goes well.
Lucroy was well on his way to a career year prior to the injury, batting .345/.387/.583 with five home runs, 30 RBI and a .969 OPS through 43 games. Martin Maldonado has played well during his absence, so it’s possible the Brewers could shop George Kottaras to contenders leading up to the trade deadline.
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.