Jason Bay unlikely to return for at least another two weeks

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Bad news for the middle of the Mets’ projected lineup.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said this afternoon that Jason Bay is unlikely to return from the disabled list until at least April 26 against the Nationals.

“I think it’s unrealistic to expect him before then,” Alderson said.

Bay is currently rehabbing from a strained left intercostal muscle near his ribcage and has just begun swinging a bat in Florida. When Bay initially suffered the injury at the tail-end of spring training, the Mets hoped he would be able to return this past Saturday.

The Mets sent down Lucas Duda following Sunday’s loss to the Nationals, so Willie Harris figures to get most of the playing time in left field for now.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.