An Angels minor leaguer got suspended for a drug of abuse

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Drug suspensions don’t stop for slow holiday weeks:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Minor League catcher Carlos Ramirez has received a 100-game suspension without pay after a third positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Ramirez plays for the Salt Lake Bees. He turns 26 in March and has basically been a backup for most of his minor league career. So it will not be too terribly surprising if this is the first and last time his name graces the virtual pages of HardballTalk.

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.