Yankees add Rich Hill as Matt Thornton replacement

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This afternoon the Yankees declined to pull back Matt Thornton when he was claimed on waivers by the Nationals, giving away the 37-year-old left-hander. And now to replace him in the bullpen they’ve called up 34-year-old left-hander Rich Hill from Triple-A.

Thornton had a 2.55 ERA and 20/6 K/BB ratio in 25 innings, but struggled with inherited runners, never really gained the trust of manager Joe Girardi as more than a situational southpaw, and is owed $3.5 million for 2015.

Of course, Hill’s previous stint in the majors this season came with the Angels and he failed to retire any of the four batters he faced before being released. And last year he had a 6.28 ERA in 39 innings for the Indians.

So how did he convince the Yankees to call him up as Thornton’s replacement? Hill made four appearances at Triple-A, allowing zero runs and striking out 10 of the 16 batters he faced.

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.