Neftali Feliz is almost ready to pitch again in Triple-A

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Remember Neftali Feliz? Well, he’s been shut down for the past month due to general soreness and fatigue, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that he is likely to be activated with Triple-A Round Rock tomorrow.

Feliz is still trying to get back to 100 percent from his Tommy John surgery in 2012. The 26-year-old right-hander was in the mix for the Rangers’ closer role during spring training, but he was demoted to Triple-A after he showed diminished velocity and had issues recovering from one outing to the next. He allowed one run and struck out six over 5 2/3 innings before going on the disabled list last month, but he still had issues with his velocity and didn’t pitch on consecutive days. The hope is that the rest will get him back on track physically.

Once considered among the game’s best young pitchers, Feliz compiled a 2.55 ERA and 74 saves over his first three seasons in the majors before the Rangers moved him to the rotation in 2012. He pitched in just eight games (seven starts) before undergoing Tommy John surgery.

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.