J.P. Arencibia has proven to be not much of a hitter with a career .208 batting average and .662 OPS, but last night the 28-year-old catcher/first baseman made his pitching debut for the Rangers and looked pretty decent.
Arencibia tossed a scoreless ninth inning with the Rangers down 10-1 to the Rays, recording three outs on just 10 pitches while working around a Logan Forsythe infield single. He threw all fastballs, averaging 72.6 miles per hour and topping out at 74.2 mph.
He’s the third position player to pitch for the Rangers this season, which in itself says a lot about how many times Texas has been blown out.
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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.