Report: Terry Collins may be the front runner to be Mets’ manager

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Last night, Jon Heyman of SI.com tweeted that he’s “hearing Terry Collins’ name more and more” in regards to the Mets’ managerial vacancy. It sounds like there’s some validity to that notion.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, a person who has talked to Mets officials in recent days believes that Collins is anywhere from “a strong candidate to the front-runner.”

“I think it is possible that all the interviews are just covering bases and they already like Collins the best.”

Mets GM Sandy Alderson is expected to interview Collins in California this weekend. Collins served as the Mets’ minor league field coordinator this past season, but has past managerial experience in the majors, something Alderson is said to value. He was 444-434 (.506) in six seasons managing the Astros and Angels, but hasn’t been a skipper in the big leagues since 1999.

When Alderson was hired last week, he said in his introductory press conference that he wasn’t opposed to hiring a fiery manager. As Sherman points out, many Mets fans took this to mean that Wally Backman was a viable candidate for the job. It’s very possible he could have been talking about Collins.

Collins, now 61, may have mellowed since his last managerial gig in the majors, but as you can see in the picture to the right, he is well known for his fiery, intense style.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.