Jose Bautista swinging at full strength following wrist surgery

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Jose Bautista required surgery in September to repair the tendon sheath in his left wrist, but word is that he’s making fine progress. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio has the latest on his recovery:

Good news. Bautista actually expressed interest in playing winter ball this offseason, but the Blue Jays quickly shot that down. They haven’t ruled out the possibility of him playing for his native Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but odds are they’ll want him to focus on being ready for Opening Day.

Bautista, 32, batted .241/.358/.527 with 27 home runs, 65 RBI and an .886 OPS in 92 games last season prior to the surgery. The Blue Jays are hoping his power will remain intact as they attempt to make their move in the American League East.

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.