Good news for the White Sox. According to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, Chris Sale is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Charlotte.
Sale has been sidelined since April 17 due to a left flexor muscle strain. The expectation is that he’ll make another start in the minors after Thursday, which sets up a possible return to the White Sox on May 25 against the Yankees.
Sale was well on his way to another excellent season prior to the injury, posting a 2.30 ERA and 29/7 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings over four starts.
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.