Middlebrooks suffered a fractured left fibula during Saturday's spring training game, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic Philadelphia reports. Middlebrooks suffered the significant injury during an outfield collision with teammate Andrew Pullin. The third baseman may have also injured his left ankle in the process and is currently undergoing further testing to determine to what extent that may be. It's an unfortunate blow for the 29-year-old, who was looking to make the Phillies' big-league roster with a strong spring training.
Middlebrooks was removed from Saturday's game after colliding with Andrew Pullin in the outfield, Matt Gelb of The Athletic Philadelphia reports. Left fielder Pullin rolled over Middlebrooks' ankle as the two converged on a blooper which fell between them. The injury appeared serious, and the third baseman left the game with his leg in a cast. It's tough luck for the journeyman infielder, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and was fighting for a bench spot with the Phillies this spring.
Middlebrooks signed a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training with Philadelphia on Wednesday. Middlebrooks appeared in 22 games with the Rangers, hitting just .211/.231/.368 with 14 strikeouts in 38 at-bats. The third baseman spent most of the season at the Triple-A level, and will likely begin 2018 with Lehigh Valley while serving as organizational depth for his new club.
Middlebrooks declined his outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock and is now a free agent. Middlebrooks passed through waivers untouched and has decided to test the waters of free agency. The 29-year-old hit an unimpressive .211/.231/.368 in 39 plate appearances for the big club this season, but he should be able to find a minor-league deal somewhere given his respectable minor-league numbers over the previous two campaigns.
Middlebrooks started at third base and went 1-for-4 in Monday's 11-2 loss to the Astros. The Rangers have leaned on Drew Robinson as their primary third baseman with Adrian Beltre limited to designated-hitting duties while he recovers from a hamstring injury, but Middlebrooks received the starting nod at the hot corner in the series opener. Neither Robinson nor Middlebrooks has made much of an impact offensively in September, but with few attractive healthy alternatives laying in wait, it's expected that the duo will continue to see all of the reps at the position until the regular season concludes Sunday.