Report: Mets request permission to interview Al Avila

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According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, the Detroit Free-Press reports that the Mets have requested permission to interview Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila for their general manager vacancy. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com mentioned Avila as a possibility earlier this week.

Avila has worked under Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers since 2002, but has also spent time as a special assistant to then-Pirates GM Dave Littlefield and as director of scouting with the Marlins. He has interviewed for general manager positions with the Reds, Orioles, Mariners and Diamondbacks and was a finalist for the job which went to Jack Zduriencik in October of 2008.

Call me cynical, but this sure feels like the Mets simply fulfilling their obligation to consider a minority candidate before hiring who they really want.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle 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.