Mets likely to introduce new manager on Tuesday

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The Mets interviewed Bob Melvin and Chip Hale on Wednesday for their managerial opening.  On Thursday, they’ll interview the other two finalists — Wally Backman and Terry Collins.  Assuming all goes according to plan and there’s no need for an abrupt schedule change, the Mets will then announce their new new skipper at a press conference Tuesday.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson relayed this all to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin late Wednesday evening.

Alderson and Co. went on an extensive search for Jerry Manuel’s replacement this fall, interviewing over 10 candidates in all.  They settled on four finalists this week at the GM Meetings in Orlando, Florida and by Thursday evening all four of those men will have met and spoken with Mets officials.

As of now, there isn’t a clear front-runner, but SI.com’s Jon Heyman and a few other New York-based writers suspect that Melvin will win the job.  He certainly seemed confident after his interview Wednesday, telling reporters that “we have the pieces to compete.”

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with 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.