Rangers looking to Kurt Suzuki for catching help

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Texas quickly re-signed Geovany Soto knowing that A.J. Pierzynski was likely a goner via free agency and now T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers are targeting Kurt Suzuki to pair with Soto behind the plate.

Soto and Suzuki are both right-handed hitters, so it’s not an ideal pairing, but Suzuki has always had a very good pitcher-handling/clubhouse reputation and accepted a limited role with the Nationals this year after previously being a regular for the A’s.

Suzuki is a career .253 hitter with a .685 OPS, including four straight seasons below .700 following a promising first few years in Oakland.

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.