Justin Masterson leaves start with soreness in rib cage

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UPDATE: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Masterson exited his start with soreness in his left rib cage.

4:34 p.m. ET: Bad news for the Tribe as their number one starter, Justin Masterson, was removed during the second inning of today’s Orioles-Indians game. It’s unclear why he left, but reporters covering the game tweeted that his velocity was down and, just prior to leaving, Masterson was throwing nothing but offspeed stuff.

Masterson is 14-9 on the year with a 3.47 ERA in 189.1 innings entering today’s action.  If he’s out for any extended amount of time, the Indians are going to be in big trouble.

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.