Nationals activate Bryce Harper from the disabled list

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As expected the Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list after the 20-year-old outfielder missed the past 31 games with a knee injury stemming from his May 13 collision with the wall at Dodger Stadium.

Harper went 4-for-11 with a homer and three total extra-base hits during a brief minor-league rehab assignment, which concluded Saturday.

Before being shut down he hit .287 with 12 homers and a .973 OPS in 44 games, although Harper hit just .226 between the Dodger Stadium collision and being placed on the disabled list. He’ll resume starting in left field for the Nationals, with Jayson Werth in right field. Washington went 15-16 during Harper’s absence while giving his playing time to a combination of Tyler Moore, Stephen Lombardozzi, and most recently Roger Bernadina.

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.