Tommy Hanson could return on July 23

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Angels starter Tommy Hanson, recovering from a strained right forearm, threw a simulated game this afternoon. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register is reporting that, if there are no setbacks, the right-hander could return on July 23.

Hanson has been on the disabled list since June 21. In nine starts on the year, he has compiled a 5.10 ERA with a career-low 15 percent strikeout rate. The Angels acquired him last November from the Braves for reliever Jordan Walden. The Angels could use a healthy Hanson as their 4.29 rotation ERA is the fifth-worst in the American League

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.