Braves hire ex-Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee

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Rich Dubee, who was let go as Phillies pitching coach last month after nine seasons as Charlie Manuel’s right-hand man, has joined the Braves organization as minor league pitching coordinator.

That job was formerly held by Dave Wallace, who left the Braves to become the Orioles’ new pitching coach. Dubee also interviewed with Baltimore before Wallace got the position.

Given how long Dubee served as the Phillies’ pitching coach and how much success the staff experienced until recently it’s surprising that he didn’t gain more traction interviewing for the same role elsewhere, but he seems likely to be a popular candidate for gigs next offseason.

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.