Jason Grilli to be the Pirates closer

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This seemed obvious, but perhaps the Pirates were taking the polite road and waiting for the Joel Hanrahan deal to Boston to become official before announcing it:

 

Grilli struck out 90 batters and posted a 2.91 ERA in 58 and two-thirds innings as the Pirates setup man last season, so he seems ready to handle ninth inning duties. If he falters, Pirates’ new acquisition Mark Melancon — a year removed from a 2.78 ERA and 20 saves with the Astros — could theoretically step in.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.