White Sox designate Jeff Keppinger for assignment

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Jeff Keppinger has been rehabbing a shoulder injury since last season and today the White Sox decided to simply drop him from the 40-man roster, designating the veteran infielder for assignment.

Keppinger is under contract for $4 million this season and $4.5 million in 2015 as part of an odd three-year deal handed out by then-general manager Ken Williams in December of 2012. He hit .253 with four homers and a .600 OPS in 117 games in Year 1 of the contract and now the White Sox are willing to eat the rest of the deal.

Even if he’s healthy Keppinger is best suited to be a bench player at age 34 and he was hitting just .256 with a .707 OPS in 11 games rehabbing at Double-A. No team is going to claim his contract off waivers, so once he’s released by the White Sox expect Keppinger to latch on elsewhere with a minor-league contract.

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.