Alex Cobb returned to Tropicana Field, talked about his scary injury

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Alex Cobb returned to Tropicana Field yesterday, nine days after being nailed by a comebacker and being carted off the field. He is still not physically right — he is prone to dizziness and vertigo as a result of his concussion — but he sounds optimistic and determined to pitch yet this year:

“I’ve read a few things where people don’t think I’m going to pitch again this year,” Cobb said. “There can’t be anything further from the truth. I’ll be ready to go as soon as my body is ready.”

This is, he has no idea when his body will be ready:

“Oh, man, it’s not like in the past,” Cobb said. “I’ve had ankle injuries, shoulders, whatever. You can fight through it as a competitor. You can handle the pain and know you’re not going to do any further damage to yourself.

“There is no way to do that with this kind of injury. It’s with you every second of the day. You’re not going to be able to fight through it until your body tells you you’re good.”

A good story about it in the Tampa Bay Times in which Cobb sounds both realistic about his condition yet optimistic about his prospects.

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.