Starlin Castro is getting into The Best Shape Of His Life

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Add another name to the list, as Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is getting into The Best Shape Of His Life:

The Cubs are making sure shortstop Starlin Castro reports to Spring Training in better shape. The team assigned strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss to the Dominican Republic to work with Castro for three weeks in November. In January, Castro will start workouts at the Cubs’ facility in the Dominican. …

“I think we felt like there’s no reason he can’t be a little faster and he can’t have more range than he does,” [general manager Jed] Hoyer said. “He’s at that age–he’s going to be 24 years old–where he’s going to start to put on a little bit of that man strength.”

Maybe, but I’m 30 now and still waiting for “a little bit of that man strength” to arrive.

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.