Jason Bay finally cleared to take live batting practice

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A bit of welcome news here from Dan Martin of the New York Post.

Mets outfielder Jason Bay, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since the start of the regular season, is scheduled to take live batting practice Sunday afternoon for the first time since suffering a late-spring intercostal muscle strain.

Bay has been working out down at the Mets’ spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida for the past week. He took hacks in a batting cage Saturday and also ran through some drills.

“He hit in the cage, soft tossed and hit off a tee,” manager Terry Collins said Saturday afternoon. “[On Sunday], he’ll take batting practice off one of the coaches. It’s step two of the process.”

The Mets are hoping that Bay will be ready to return to the major leagues within the next 10 days. He batted .333 with a .404 on-base percentage, four home runs and 10 RBI across 53 at-bats this spring.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.