Ross Detwiler on track to return from strained oblique next week

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Ross Detwiler has been sidelined since May 15 with a strained right oblique muscle, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Nationals’ starting rotation.

Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com was told by Nationals manager Davey Johnson today that Detwiler is set to make a minor league rehab start Saturday with High-A Potomac. As long as the southpaw doesn’t have any setbacks, it should put him in position to return from the disabled list next week, either on Thursday against the Rockies or Friday against the Indians.

Detwiler, 27, has a 2.76 ERA and 23/10 K/BB ratio in 45 2/3 innings across eight starts this season. Nathan Karns is currently filling his spot in the rotation and could stick around until Stephen Strasburg is ready to return from a lat strain.

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.