Jason Bay scheduled to return from disabled list Thursday

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General manager Sandy Alderson said last week that Jason Bay wouldn’t be returning from the disabled list before April 26, but apparently the Mets have changed their mind and now he’s scheduled to come back from a strained ribcage muscle Thursday.

He’ll have to avoid a setback first while playing minor-league rehab games tomorrow and Wednesday, and he’ll do so at high Single-A in Florida because the Mets don’t want him dealing with the colder weather at Double-A or Triple-A.

Bay hasn’t played a big-league game since suffering a concussion on July 25. During that time the Mets are just 34-45 and his replacements in left field so far this season have hit just .233 with one homer and a .690 OPS in 16 games. Bay batted .259 with six homers and a .749 OPS in 95 games before the concussion ended his disappointing first season in New York.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.