Michael Saunders is your Pool D MVP

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Canada outfielder Michael Saunders hit .727 playing against Pool D opponents United States, Mexico, and Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Of his eight hits, three were doubles and one was a home run in a deciding game against the U.S. earlier today. Overall, he drove in seven runs with his hot bat.

U.S. third baseman David Wright was considered a top candidate for the award as well, as he hit a crucial grand slam against Italy last night. Overall, he had five hits in 11 at-bats with three walks and five runs batted in as well.

Saunders hit 19 home runs playing right field for the Seattle Mariners last year in his first full season in the Majors.

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.