Tim McCarver’s broadcasting days aren’t over yet

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Tim McCarver retired as Fox’s leading analyst after the World Series. But he’s not dropping the mic just yet: Fox Sports Midwest is about to hire him to do a limited number of Cardinals games next season.

The idea is for him to do 20-25 games, with opportunities coming as a result of an expected reduction in Mike Shannon’s schedule, which would lead TV guys Rick Horton and Al Hrabosky to shift to radio duty, thereby opening up slots for McCarver.

Which I think is good. I know McCarver bugs a lot of fans, especially younger ones. But when he’s not trying to play up to bigger storylines and simply talks about the game in front of him, he’s still an excellent analyst. Those opportunities became increasingly rare over the past few years, as in-game interviews of managers and the drama of postseason series coverage came to the fore. But in regular season games I bet McCarver will show folks that he still has it.

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.