Cody Ross suffers calf injury in Cactus League game

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Late-spring injuries are the worst.

According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, Giants outfielder Cody Ross was lifted from the club’s Cactus League tilt with the Angels Wednesday due to a right calf strain.

Ross was attempting to make a catch on a shallow line drive when he pulled up lame. He struggled to get off the field on his own and was later spotted riding to the clubhouse in a golf cart.

The Giants are likely to provide an update on his status Thursday after they give him a round of tests. Calf strains can range from very minor to very serious, so it’s possible that San Francisco will be forced to place him on the 15-day disabled list before the start of the season. And it’s also possible that he’s fine.

Ross, 30, posted a weak .735 OPS during the 2010 regular season but his bat came alive in October and he helped the Giants to the World Series title with a five-homer and 10-RBI postseason outburst. He is expected to start in right field on most days and nights this summer for San Francisco.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.