Jim Thome hit reasonably well since jumping into the middle of the Orioles’ lineup a month ago, hitting .261 with two homers and a .746 OPS in 18 games, but now the 41-year-old is on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that Thome “will fly to Caifornia to get an epidural” and is eligible to return on August 12, although obviously given his age and history of back and neck problems that’s far from guaranteed.
In the meantime the Orioles activated Robert Andino from the DL to take Thome’s spot on the roster and he’ll resume starting at second base with Brian Roberts out.
And hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Thome.
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.