Doug Fister feeling no ill effects from comebacker

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There was reason for great concern when Tigers right-hander Doug Fister got nailed in the side of the head by a line drive during his Game 2 start against the Giants. But he continued pitching, had no issues on the Tigers’ flight from San Francisco to Detroit, and is still free of concussion-like symptoms.

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand assured reporters on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park that Fister will be ready to make his Game 6 start if the series goes that far.

“He’s never had a headache. He’s never had dizziness.” Rand said. “He’s had no symptoms at any time.”

Fister didn’t undergo an MRI or CT scan, but he was checked out — and cleared to play — by Dr. Michael Workings, who serves as a specialist for the NFL’s Detroit Lions and deals often with head injuries.

Fister, 28, boasts a sparkling 1.40 ERA through 19 1/3 innings (three starts) this postseason.

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.