Johnny Cueto is in “great shape”

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This is not a BSOHL post. This is a mere update to an injured player post. The player: Reds ace Johnny Cueto, who last we saw, was leaving the playoffs thanks to a bum oblique muscle. His general manager says he’s doing much better now, however:

“Cueto’s in great shape,” Walt Jocketty said. “We just saw him in the Dominican. We had a group of people there, and they said he’s in great physical shape. He feels good, the side is good, he’s throwing. He should be 100 percent.”

That’s good news for the Reds. They had a great rotation last year, but they were extremely reliant on the top 5 guys, as opposed to rotation depth. They need Cueto and everyone else to be healthy in order to repeat.

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.