Dusty Baker wouldn’t mind managing Team USA

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Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker, entering his 20th season at the helm of a Major League team, wouldn’t mind leading Team USA one day, reports Danny Knobler:

Perhaps Baker will be the one to decide in the future. He said Saturday that he wouldn’t mind managing Team USA, once his major-league managerial career is done.

For now, he watches along with the rest of us. He sees the passion that players from other countries show.

Baker led the Reds to two NL Central crowns in 2010 and ’12, both ending in NLDS losses. Prior to that, he managed the San Francisco Giants from 1993-2002 with a .540 winning percentage and two NL West crowns, and the Chicago Cubs from 2003-06 with a .497 winning percentage and one NL Central crown.

Former Athletics and Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa is likely the next manager for the U.S., Baker acknowledged recently.

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.