Matt Diaz to undergo season-ending thumb surgery

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Matt Diaz has been on the disabled list since mid-July with a right thumb injury and the Braves announced that the veteran outfielder will undergo season-ending surgery.

Diaz told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “we’ve given it pretty much every way to rest possible” before deciding on surgery, which carries a two-month recovery timetable.

He actually played through the injury for about six weeks before going on the DL last month, but Diaz finishes the season hitting just .222 with two homers and a .613 OPS in 51 games. That’s a far cry from his lifetime .291 batting average and .770 OPS, and his absence as a right-handed platoon bat versus left-handed pitching motivated the Braves to trade for Reed Johnson.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.