Kevin Youkilis has posted an .864 OPS with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 33 games since joining the White Sox. They love him, but that love has limits.
A White Sox official told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe this weekend that the club is unlikely to exercise Youk’s $13 million club option for the 2013 campaign. That’d make him a free agent, but the Pale Hose “didn’t give up much and aren’t assuming much of his 2012 salary” so they’ll be content if he turns out to be merely a rental property.
Chicago enters play Sunday with a 58-48 record, ranking first in the American League Central standings.
Youkilis was batting .233/.315/.377 in 42 games with the Red Sox before they dealt him in exchange for utilityman Brent Lillibridge and righty Zach Stewart. Lillibridge was designated for assignment then traded to the Indians last month. Stewart has a 3.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP through 38 1/3 innings at Triple-A Pawtucket.
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.