Jason Bay still holding out hope to return this season

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It’s not all bad news for the Mets. According to Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger, Jason Bay told reporters on Friday that he is still hoping to return this season.

“I haven’t had a headache in about a week — four or five days,” the Mets
left fielder said prior to Friday night’s game against the Phillies.
“I’ve just kind of been taking it slow. I feel great. Now it’s just
getting back into shape and not trying to do it all at once and get
yourself set back.”

He plans to start swinging a bat within the next few days, which will be his first baseball activity since going on the disabled list with a concussion at the end of July. Bay said he intends to play again this season, even if he only has the chance to play for one week.

Bay still has to get back into baseball shape, so the clock is ticking, but his sense of humor is still as sharp as ever. Here’s what he had to say when he was asked if he was going to have any issues with bright lights or loud noises at the ballpark.

“I’m OK with that stuff,” Bay said. “A lot of that wasn’t the issue. It
was more the headaches and more headaches from exertion. I’m Canadian,
so bright lights bother me anyway.”

Don’t worry, Jason. By the time the Mets finish up the season with a seven-game homestand against the Brewers and Nationals, Citi Field will probably be the quietest place on Earth.

Shelby Miller will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Last we heard from Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks’ right-hander was contemplating Tommy John surgery for a partial UCL tear in his right elbow. Now, he appears to have decided to go through with the procedure.

Miller decided to skip Tommy John alternatives like plasma-rich platelet injections or stem cell treatment, which have been used to varying degrees of success by other major league pitchers with similar injuries. The surgery will set him back an estimated 12-18 months, FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke reports, which puts Miller’s estimated return date somewhere in 2018 if all goes well.

The 26-year-old starter was off to a rocky start this season, posting a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA through 22 innings and striking out just 20 of 99 batters faced. This was his sophomore campaign in Arizona after muddling through the 2016 season with a 3-12 record, 6.15 ERA and 0.5 fWAR over 101 innings with the club.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.