Joey Votto to begin rehab assignment on Sunday

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Joe Danneman of Cincinnati’s FOX19 reports that Reds first baseman Joey Votto will travel to Pawtucket and begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. Votto has been sidelined since May 16 with a strained left quadriceps. Votto isn’t expected to need to rehab very long before rejoining the Reds some time next week.

Despite a high on-base percentage, Votto’s numbers aren’t quite where one would expect them to be, as he is slashing¬†.257/.410/.449 with six home runs and 12 RBI in 173 plate appearances. If the season were to end today, the batting average and slugging percentage would both be career-lows.

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.