Hall of Fame voting expert: Greg Maddux makes it. No one else does.

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For over 30 years a man named Bill Deane has been predicting the Hall of Fame vote. He has a nearly 80% success rate in getting the votes right, so that’s pretty good. Last year he successfully predicted that no one would get the requisite 75% from the BBWAA voters. The year before that he was correct in predicting that it would be the Barry Larkin show.

His prediction this year? Greg Maddux. No one else.

Hard to believe that neither Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine nor the close-but-not-quite-last-year pair of Craig Biggio and Jack Morris will make it, but I have learned to (a) pay close attention to Deane’s projections and; (b) to never be surprised at the lunacy of the BBWAA voting pool.

Go read Deane’s predictions and rationale over at Baseball:Past and Present. And bookmark it for a couple weeks from now when we hear how the voting actually goes down.

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.