Marlins promote Brad Penny from Single-A to Triple-A ahead of opt-out date

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Brad Penny has been impressive enough after signing a minor-league contract with the Marlins last month that they’ve promoted the 35-year-old right-hander from Single-A to Triple-A.

Of course, it’s all relative. Penny went 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in two Single-A starts, striking out just four batters in 10.2 innings. He also walked zero batters and allowed zero homers and … well, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes that “the plan calls for Penny to make at least two starts for New Orleans before the Marlins decide whether to bring him up.”

Penny has a July 31 opt-out clause in his contract, so that’s apparently driving the decision. His deal would be worth $800,000 if he’s called up to Miami, but he hasn’t been effective in the big leagues since 2010.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.