Athletics designate Michael Taylor for assignment

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have designated outfielder Michael Taylor for assignment. Sam Fuld, Taylor’s competition for the reserve outfielder job, made the team as a result.

Taylor had a great spring, slashing .274/.348/.532 in 62 at-bats. Fuld was nearly as good, posting a .271/.348/.475 line in 59 at-bats.

Taylor came over to the Athletics in December 2009 from the Blue Jays in the Brett Wallace trade. He has performed well at Triple-A Sacramento over the past four seasons but has had few opportunities to prove himself at the big league level. He’ll likely draw some interest based on his solid spring.

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.