As expected the Cardinals have placed closer Jason Motte on the disabled list with a strained right elbow.
Motte complained of soreness after last Thursday’s game and there’s no timetable for his return, with the Cardinals set to use Mitchell Boggs as their fill-in closer.
Motte was fantastic last season, saving a league-leading 42 games with a 2.75 ERA in his first full season as a closer. Boggs can’t match Motte’s strikeout ability, but has been a very effective setup man for the past three seasons with a 3.08 ERA in 201 innings during that span.
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.