Terry Collins, Clint Hurdle, and Bob Melvin emerge as top candidates in Mets’ manager search

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Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that “Terry Collins, Clint Hurdle, and Bob Melvin have emerged as leading candidates in the Mets’ search for a manager.”

However, new general manager Sandy Alderson apparently hasn’t officially trimmed his list to three names, as Rubin adds that “a potential fourth candidate for a callback is current third base coach Chip Hale” and “one potential additional interviewee is ex-Met Jose Oquendo.”

In other words, they probably still aren’t very close to deciding on a new manager. It does suggest that DeMarlo Hale, Dave Jauss, Don Wakamatsu, and Wally Backman are no longer serious candidates for the job.

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.