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Brandon Finnegan leaves start with left lat strain

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Reds’ left-hander Brandon Finnegan exited his third start with a left lat strain, the team announced on Saturday. Finnegan lasted one inning against the Brewers, issuing one hit, two walks and two runs before he was pulled for right-hander Robert Stephenson in the second. No timetable for Finnegan’s return has been revealed yet.

This wasn’t the first sign of trouble for the 24-year-old lefty, whose last start ran just two innings against the Pirates last Monday. Finnegan walked five and struck out four, but managed to escape with only one run charged to the Pirates in the Reds’ eventual 7-1 win. The club has not commented on whether Finnegan’s struggles have been the product of injury or whether he’s suffering through the same early-season bugs that have been cropping up around the league, though it certainly seems to be the former considering the left-hander’s dominance during his first outing of the year.

Finnegan is beginning his third campaign with the Reds since his arrival in Cincinnati during the 2015 season. He pitched to a career-worst 3.98 ERA in 2016, delivering a 4.4 BB/9, 7.6 SO/9 and 0.3 fWAR in 172 innings.

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.