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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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Fantasy baseball – Karabell’s prospect watch

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The Seattle Mariners made some unfortunate news in the past week, but perhaps getting lost in the shuffle is the relative clarification — and this is a positive — that the franchise intends to promote awesome outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic in April. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean Opening Day, because he needs the extra two weeks or so of minor league work to hone his swing or to better track fly balls (wink, wink). In any event, Kelenic is among the top prospects not just on the Mariners, but in the entire fantasy baseball world. Get him quickly.

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MLB Stock Watch: First look at win projections, playoff odds and more

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Here’s how we rank baseball’s 30 teams as spring training games begin.

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Shin-Soo Choo to play for South Korean club on 1-year, $2.4M contract

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SEOUL, South Korea — Free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has agreed to a one-year contract to play for a baseball club in his native South Korea.

Choo, who spent the last seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, signed a 2.7 billion won ($2.4 million) deal with a Korean Baseball Organization team owned by an affiliate with the Shinsegae business group, the company said in a statement.

Choo, 38, has confirmed the deal.

“I was born in Korea where I was raised and started baseball. I’ve always had hopes in my heart for a long time to play in Korea one day. Now I think it’s time to put into action and start a new chapter of my life,” Choo posted on Instagram. “I might not be able to promise how good I will be, but I promise that I will do my best.”

Earlier this week, E-Mart Inc., the biggest discount store chain in South Korea, finalized deals to take over the SK Wyverns baseball team based in Incheon, just west of Seoul. The team’s name is tentatively called E-Mart Electros, but it could change, company officials said.

“The Shinsegae Group has listened to the voices of Incheon baseball fans who want us to bring Choo Shin-soo,” the Shinsegae Group said in a statement. “[We]’ve been paying attention to his successful career, diligence and steadiness.”

The 2.7 billion won annual salary for Choo is the biggest of its kind in the KBO league. Choo plans to donate 1 billion of that to social charities, according to the group statement.

During his 16-year career, Choo batted .275 with 218 home runs, 782 RBIs and 157 steals in 1,652 appearances. He was selected as an All-Star in 2018. Before the Texas Rangers, he played for the Seattle Mariners, the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds.

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