Salt Lake’s 5-4 win over Las Vegas Thursday night has the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate 51’s on the brink of elimination in their best-of-5 PCL playoff, and the New York Post’s Mike Puma is already predicting skipper Wally Backman (above) will soon leave the organization.  In light of reports Terry Collins is likely to receive a contract extension with the parent club at season’s end, Puma quotes an unnamed Mets source as claiming Backman, “could have his hand forced” with no vacancy in Flushing.

Backman was a finalist for the managerial job that went to Collins after the 2010 season and considered leaving the organization a year later, but stayed after consulting with his mentor, Davey Johnson.

Sources have said general manager Sandy Alderson values the strong working relationship he has with Collins, and team officials have been happy with the manner in which the club was playing before injuries to David Wright, Matt Harvey and Bobby Parnell, among others, decimated the roster in August.

According to sources, the Mets have not yet discussed with Backman a potential role for next season. Last year, Backman was added as an extra coach for the final few weeks of September, after the Triple-A season had ended, but there has been no indication he will serve in that role this year.