Michael Bourn back in Braves’ starting lineup after missing a week with sprained thumb

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From David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution comes word that outfielder Michael Bourn is back in the Braves’ starting lineup, as anticipated, Sunday afternoon against the Mets.

Bourn has been sidelined since September 22 due to a mildly sprained ligament in his left thumb.

He is batting leadoff and starting in center field.

The 29-year-old Bourn has a .274/.346/.391 batting line, 39 stolen bases and nine home runs through 151 games played. He’s currently scheduled to hit the free agent market in November.

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.