Nelson Cruz cleared for baseball activities after hospital visit for chest discomfort

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UPDATE: Good news, as Cruz checked out fine and has been cleared to resume baseball activities.

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Nelson Cruz left Rangers camp this morning and went to the hospital after experiencing “discomfort” in his chest.

Ron Matejko of ESPN Dallas reports that team doctors initially diagnosed Cruz with a muscle strain before sending him to the hospital, with assistant general manager Thad Levine saying: “We want to make sure we can rule things out before we define what it is.”

Cruz was named in the Biogenesis clinic records shortly before arriving at Rangers camp and is slated to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic beginning next week.

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.