Rafael Betancourt has a torn UCL

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It’s not just promising young starting pitchers who need Tommy John surgery. Veteran relievers sometimes do too. The news on Rockies’ reliever Rafael Betancourt:

 

Bad break for Betancourt, who was already on the 15-day disabled list due to the elbow.

This could be the end of the line for Betancourt. He’s almost 39 and he won’t be under contract after this season. If it is the end, he leaves an 11-year career in which he was one of the most reliable and, for some reason, one of the more unheralded setup men (and occasional closers) in the game.

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.