Jason Bay set to begin rehab assignment this weekend

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Jason Bay has missed well over a month with a non-displaced fractured rib, but he’s finally close to making his way back to the Mets’ lineup.

According to Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York, Bay is set to serve as the designated hitter this weekend in rehab games with High-A St. Lucie. The hope is that he’ll be able to play the outfield by Monday and return shortly thereafter.

Bay, 33, was hitting .240/.316/.460 with three homers, five RBI and a .776 OPS over 15 games prior to suffering the injury on April 23. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Scott Hairston and Mike Baxter have all logged significant playing time during his absence, but Mets manager Terry Collins has already said that Bay will “absolutely” get his starting left field job back.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.