Kenley Jansen cleared to pitch after heart problems

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Out since August 28 following a re-occurance of his irregular heartbeat, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been cleared to resume pitching and is expected to be available out of the bullpen tonight.

Once the season is over Jansen is slated to undergo an operation to address his atrial fibrillation and for now he’s ceased taking blood thinners because of the added risk they would bring if he were hit by a line drive or suffered another injury.

Jansen was fantastic before being shut down, saving 25 games with a 2.54 ERA, .156 opponents’ batting average, and 86 strikeouts in 57 innings to rank among the most dominant pitchers in baseball for the third straight season.

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.