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Veteran infielder Will Middlebrooks, who signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies last month, left Saturday’s spring training game with what appeared to be an injury to his left ankle or leg.

Playing third base, Middlebrooks was injured in the eight inning when he drifted back while attempting to catch a pop fly. Left fielder Andrew Pullin was coming in on the ball and Middlebrook’s ankle appeared to get caught underneath Pullin.

Middlebrooks was attended to by trainers before leaving the field on a cart. The team said he was taken to a hospital for X-rays.

Middlebrooks has played just 32 games in the majors the past two seasons, hitting .211 in 38 at-bats with the Rangers in 2017. For his career, he’s a .228 hitter with 43 homers and 155 RBI.

“It was kind of one of those balls that’s in-between,” Pullin told reporters, according to MLB.com “I was running hard and I didn’t hear him call it, and I didn’t call it because I wasn’t sure if I could get to it. At the last minute I slid for it. I’m not sure if he called it.”

Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters it was an emotional moment and that Middlebrooks was disappointed that he had to leave the game.

“You put yourself in his position. A ton of hard work leads up to that moment,” Kapler said. “[He gave] everything he [had] on that play.”

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Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto (left shoulder) goes on 10-day injured list

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The Washington Nationals placed star outfielder Juan Soto on the 10-day injured list with a strained left shoulder, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.

Soto, 22, will have to sit out at least the next seven games; the Nationals have three off days during his IL stint.

The team recalled outfielder Yadiel Hernandez from their alternate site to replace Soto on the roster.

Soto is hitting .300 in 14 games this season.

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Slumping New York Yankees shake up lineup against Atlanta Braves

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NEW YORK — New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone made three changes to the starting lineup of his slumping team against Atlanta on Tuesday night, inserting first baseman Mike Ford and left fielder Mike Tauchman and giving Brett Gardner his second start this season in center field.

DJ LeMahieu moved back to second base from first, and center fielder Aaron Hicks, left fielder Clint Frazier and second baseman Rougned Odor moved to the bench.

New York has lost five straight games, dropping to 5-10 for its worst start since 1997.

The switch-hitting Hicks was batting .160, including 3 for 32 vs. right-handers, Frazier was hitting .167 with no RBI and Odor was batting .125.

Ford was to make his season debut. He was recalled from the alternate training site and took the roster spot of Jay Bruce, who hit .118 and retired Sunday.

Jameson Taillon started for the Yankees, who were starting a stretch of games on 13 consecutive days. Charlie Morton started for Atlanta.

Boone said he might give Hicks another day off Wednesday.

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Infielder Neil Walker retires after 12 MLB seasons

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Veteran infielder Neil Walker announced his retirement Tuesday after 12 major league seasons.

Born in Pittsburgh, he played his first seven seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates before playing for the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies over his final five seasons.

Walker, 35, made his announcement on Twitter, writing, “thank you to everyone that helped me in my journey to live out my childhood dream of being a Major Leaguer, I loved & cherished every day.”

The Pirates selected Walker with the 11th-overall pick of the 2004 draft and he went on to hit 93 home runs with 418 RBIs while slashing .272/.338/.431 in 836 games. His best major league season came in 2014 when he hit .271 and set career bests with 23 home runs and 76 RBIs, earning a Silver Slugger award. His 23 home runs broke Bill Mazeroski’s franchise record for home runs in a season by a second baseman.

Walker played for the Phillies during the 2020 pandemic shortened season, appearing in 18 games.

Overall, Walker finishes his major league career with 149 home runs and 609 RBIs and a slash line of .267/.338/.426.



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