Could Don Mattingly wind up with the Nationals?

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He’s still employed by the Dodgers. And Davey Johnson is still employed by the Nats. But the latter situation is only going to last for this year and the former could end at any time. In light of that Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com hears some chatter that the former could replace the latter:

People who know Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo say Rizzo is and has always been a Mattingly fan. The Nationals considered Mattingly as manager once before, according to sources, although they never officially interviewed him for the job at that point.

Seems pretty thin. And Knobler’s comparison of Fredi Gonzalez — who left a bad situation in Florida to take over the Braves — is only apt insofar as it involved a manager getting fired one year and being hired the next. Manny Acta got a job the year after he left Washington too. Lots of guys do.

It’s hard to say what the Nats might want in their next manager. But it does strike me that a guy who has, so far anyway, not performed well amid high expectations for a talented roster, would not exactly be the prime choice for a Nationals team which will certainly have high expectations and a lot of talent next season, no matter what happens this year.

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.