Dodgers designate left-hander Ted Lilly for assignment

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The Dodgers announced this evening that they have designated left-hander Ted Lilly for assignment in order to clear a spot for utility player Elian Herrera on the active roster.

Lilly was just activated from the disabled list yesterday after missing the most of the past two months with a chronic neck condition. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register that they ultimately didn’t see him as a fit out of the bullpen.

Lilly, who was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 1996, returned to the organization via trade from the Cubs in July of 2010 and was eventually retained on a three-year, $33 million contract. While he had a 3.97 ERA in 33 starts with the Dodgers in 2011, he has been limited to just 13 starts over the past two seasons. The 37-year-old is a near-lock to pass through waivers unclaimed, as no team will want to take on his salary, but he should draw interest once he can sign elsewhere for the major league minimum.

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.