Mark Teixeira tests calf in simulated game

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Mark Teixeira hasn’t played since aggravating his left calf strain on September 8, but he’s inching closer to rejoining the Yankees lineup.

According to Meredith Marakovits of YES Network, Teixeira tested his calf today by playing in a simulated game in Tampa, Florida. He took seven at-bats and also played an inning in the field. Depending on how he feels, the plan calls for him to play in another simulated game tomorrow or Saturday.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said during a radio appearance last week that he was hoping Teixeira would be able to return this weekend against the Blue Jays, but getting him back by the end of the regular season or the start of the postseason is probably more realistic at this point.

Teixeira, 32, is batting .255/.336/.478 with 23 home runs, 81 RBI and an .814 OPS in 120 games played this 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.