ESPN Dallas has the details of multiple renovations at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this winter. Most are about amenities and concessions and things. This one will influence some baseball:
The dugouts are coming out toward the field by about three more feet. That’s going to give players and coaches more room to move around in there, but will also decrease the foul territory. It will be 42 feelt, six inches from the front of the inside camera bays to the foul lines. It also means a smaller foul area (by about three feet) in front of the dugouts.
It’s already a hitter-friendly park with scant foul territory, and now it’s even smaller.
In other news, they’re changing the name of some club dining place. It used to be named after tequila. Now it’s named after a credit card company. So there will be a net loss of funs at the place next year too.
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.