Ryan Dempster sees scoreless streak end in loss to Cards

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With trade rumors swirling, Ryan Dempster gave up three runs in the first and four overall Friday in the Cubs’ 4-1 loss to the Cardinals.

The early outburst ended his scoreless streak at 33 innings.

The Cubs were close enough to a deal that they had Justin Germano and Casey Coleman ready to be added to the roster tonight in case Dempster was traded before the game. Since nothing could be completed, negotiations could linger into next week. Still, it seems likely that Dempster has now made his final start for the Cubs.

The Dodgers and Red Sox are among those to have made bids for Dempster. There’s even been some thought the Cardinals could acquire him, though that seems unlikely.

Despite giving up four runs in six innings tonight, Dempster’s ERA stands at a National League-best 2.11. However, due to poor run and bullpen support, is win-loss record is 5-4.

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.