Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reported earlier today that the Mets have not yet really gotten into filling their managerial vacancy yet. Which makes sense, because they haven’t formally announced their new GM yet, and you have to assume Sandy Alderson will drive that train. Rubin nonetheless listed a handful of “logical candidates” for the job, including John Gibbons, Chip Hale, Clint Hurdle, Lee Mazzilli, Bob Melvin and Ken Oberkfell. If Alderson stays true to form and wants, for lack of a better term, a company man in the dugout, those are all logical choices.
Except you can take Gibbons out of the mix. Andy Martino of the Daily News just tweeted that Gibbons will not interview for the job. It’s unclear whether the Mets just aren’t interested in talking to him or if Gibbons has taken himself out of the running. Which is what he did in Pittsburgh recently.
Martino mentions a new name, though: Pete Mackanin, current Phillies bench coach. Mackanin has had a couple of stints as an interim manager but has never gotten a full time gig. His presence on a Mets short list might give Phillies fans some indigestion. They’re already not happy that the Mets have made a good choice for a GM, so they might just go bonkers if they poach their own Little Cholly from them.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.