Lloyd McClendon’s interview to replace Jim Leyland “went very well”

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Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon had his interview to replace Jim Leyland as manager today and afterward told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com: “I thought it went very well. Let’s just wait and see.”

I look forward to the day when a managerial candidates leaves an interview, calls up a national reporter, and says: “Oh my god, that was terrible. Their questions stunk and my answers were worse. So humiliating. Gonna go cry now.”

Anyway, as Craig Calcaterra noted earlier this week McClendon has been with Leyland for a long time, would represent perhaps the least possible change for the Tigers of any candidate, and has previous managing experience with the Pirates from 2001-2005 (during which time he compiled a 336-446 record).

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.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.