Jeff Keppinger aiming for Friday return to Astros

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Jeff Keppinger has yet to play this season after undergoing foot surgery in January, but Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that the veteran infielder is slated to come off the disabled list Friday.

Keppinger has spent the past couple weeks rehabbing in the minors, going 14-for-44 (.318) with one homer and just one strikeout in 11 games between Double-A and Triple-A.

Keppinger ranked fourth on the Astros with 575 plate appearances last season, supplanting Kaz Matsui as the starting second baseman while hitting .288 with a .351 on-base percentage and .393 slugging percentage.

Bill Hall has struggled as Houston’s primary second baseman, so Keppinger has a good chance to become a starter again immediately.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.