Rockies prospect Daniel Winkler needs Tommy John surgery

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Eddie Butler was shut down with a shoulder injury after making his MLB debut for Colorado earlier this week and now another very good Rockies pitching prospect is headed for elbow surgery.

Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that right-hander Daniel Winkler will undergo Tommy John surgery and be sidelined into the middle of next season.

While not quite on Butler’s level as a prospect, Winkler is 24 years old with a very strong track record that includes dominating at Double-A this season with a 1.41 ERA and 71/17 K/BB ratio in 70 innings. Instead of being on the verge of a call-up–especially after Butler’s injury–now Winkler may not be back in the Rockies’ plans until 2016.

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.