Carlos Marmol went AWOL because he needed to “take a mental break”

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Carlos Marmol pitched three and two-thirds ineffective innings from the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate in Louisville and then was placed on the restricted list because, according to the Reds, he “left the club without permission.” His agent explained to Jon Heyman what happened:

“A lot has happened in the past year and he decided to go to the Dominican. We aren’t sure when or if he will return this year . . . he just wants to take a mental break. Physically he is fine. He was still throwing in the mid-90s.”

Marmol’s agent said that Marmol wasn’t really AWOL, but that the Reds “weren’t happy” and that he “understands them being upset.”

That makes one of us. If the current version of Carlos Marmol left the team I was trying to make win games and was trying to get fans to come and see I’d be pretty OK with it.

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.