MIAMI -- Mets manager Terry Collins believes Major League Baseball will eventually make changes to new rules added this year to decrease the amount of collisions at the plate, perhaps as soon as the All-Star break.
A day before, the Mets found themselves in the middle of the latest controversy surrounding the rule, when David Wright was thrown out at the plate in the eighth inning of Friday's 3-2 loss to the Marlins.
Though Wright was out by at least 10 feet, the Mets contend that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia blocked the plate before receiving the ball from the throw of leftfielder Marcell Ozuna, in violation of rule 7.13. Umpires reviewed the call and let the out stand, a decision that angered the Mets.
At issue is whether Wright was given a lane to reach the plate, which is ultimately a judgment call. Collins said an overhead replay showed Wright was given a corner of the plate though it couldn't have been visible from the base paths.
"He's got to slide way out to get to it," said Collins, mentioning the ambiguity of what constitutes a lane.
In New York, MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said he saw no issues with the interpretation on Wright's play in the eighth inning or Kirk Nieuwenhuis' slide in the ninth inning, a play the Mets also contend was not called correctly because Saltalamacchia did not provide a lane.
In either case, Collins said the Mets did not receive an explanation, which the manager wants as "a teaching tool" to instruct players moving forward.
Still, Collins said he expects the rule to be changed even more before next season, with all runners mandated to slide and catchers banned from getting low to the ground to block the plate.
Jeremy Hefner will take a major step forward in his rehab from Tommy John surgery Sunday. The righthander will throw off a pitcher's mound and at full distance for the first time since undergoing surgery last August.
"That's exciting," said Hefner, who also will throw breaking balls off the mound for the first time. "That'll be a test of how the ligament feels and how it responds."
Without any setbacks, Hefner believes he could be ready to return to the big leagues in six to eight weeks.
"If there's a need here and they want me here, I can foresee that," Hefner said. "But ultimately, that's not my call."