Jason Kipnis suffers an abdominal strain

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The Indians lost their fifth in a row last night and they may have lost their second baseman for a while too: Jason Kipnis suffered a right abdominal strain while swinging the bat in the fourth inning of the Indians-Angels game. From Jordan Bastian

Kipnis — Cleveland’s offensive sparkplug — felt a jolt in his right side and back on a swing that resulted in a double-play groundout against Angels right-hander Jered Weaver in the fourth inning. The second baseman ran up the line, slowed as he approached first base and could be seen grabbing at his side in obvious discomfort.

“It knocked the wind out of me,” Kipnis said. “I couldn’t really breathe while I was going down to first base. It wasn’t letting go.”

No decisions have been made about whether Kipnis will be placed on the disabled list. Terry Francona said after the game that they’ll wait until Kipnis shows up at the park later today to see if it was more of a cramping thing or what.

Either way: things couldn’t be going much worse for Cleveland.

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.