On the same day he saved the 100th game of his career Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he definitely plans to continue pitching next season at age 41.
And performance-wise there’s certainly no reason for him to call it quits, as Hawkins has thrown 68 innings with a 3.06 ERA and 53/10 K/BB ratio that stands out as the best of his two-decade career.
Hawkins was a bust as a starter and then as a closer with the Twins early in his career, but settled in as one of the most consistently solid right-handed setup men in baseball for the past dozen years or so. He has a 3.09 ERA in 711 total innings since 2002 and has had an ERA above 4.00 just twice during that time. He’s been closing for the Mets in Bobby Parnell’s absence, but expect Hawkins to land another setup gig.
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.