Two weeks after shutting down Nate McLouth with right shoulder soreness the Nationals announced that the veteran outfielder needs season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum.
McLouth played just 79 games and hit .173 for the Nationals in the first season of a two-year, $10.75 million deal that always seemed awfully rich for a fourth outfielder.
His status explains why the Nationals went looking for more outfield depth by signing Cubs castoff Nate Schierholtz to a minor-league contract.
McLouth is owed $5 million next season with a $6.5 million option or $750,000 buyout for 2016.
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.