Stiff neck keeps Robinson Cano from Yankees lineup

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It’s not often that Robinson Cano takes a seat, but the All-Star is out of the Yankees lineup on Wednesday due to a stiff neck.

Cano has played in all 116 games for the Yankees this year, starting 110 of them at second base. He played in at least 159 games in each of the previous five seasons.

With Cano out, the Yankees have Jayson Nix starting at second base and batting ninth tonight. Curtis Granderson has moved into the third spot in the lineup.

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.