Angels avoid arbitration with Kevin Jepsen

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Kevin Jepsen and the Angels have avoid arbitration with a one-year, $1.181 million deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

Jepsen was arbitration eligible for the first time after throwing 45 innings with a 3.02 ERA and 38/12 K/BB ratio last season and is in line for a secondary setup man role this year at age 28.

He requested $1.4 million and the Angels countered at $975,000, so he settled for just slightly more than the midpoint. As a “Super Two” player he’ll have four seasons of arbitration eligibility instead of the usual three, so Jepsen is under the Angels’ control through 2016.

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.