Phillies shut down Jonathan Pettibone at Triple-A due to more shoulder problems

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have placed pitcher Jonathan Pettibone on the Triple-A disabled list due to more shoulder discomfort. The 23-year-old right-hander first experienced shoulder problems in late July last season when he strained his rotator cuff, ending his season. Pettibone made just one two-inning appearance during spring training this year as he showed up to camp with more inflammation in his shoulder.

Pettibone started the season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, but made two starts for the Phillies in mid-April — one good, one very bad — before returning to the minor leagues. In five starts with the IronPigs, Pettibone had a 3.42 ERA with a 13/6 K/BB ratio in 26 1/3 innings.

It’s a blow to the Phillies, who are tenuously thin on starting pitching depth. Should the Phillies need a spot starter, Jeff Manship — currently working out of the bullpen — would be the first candidate. Otherwise, the Phillies would need to make room on the 40-man roster for someone like David Buchanan.

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.