UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Bay’s return to the Mets will be delayed by at least one day because he’s “sick.”
Jason Bay is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a fractured rib and manager Terry Collins said this morning that the outfielder is expected to come off the disabled list for tomorrow night’s game.
Initially he was slated to return on Friday and serve as designated hitter for a pair of interleague series in AL ballparks against the Yankees and Rays, but Bay apparently convinced the Mets that he’s ready now after going 2-for-6 with three strikeouts and a stolen base during a brief minor-league rehab assignment.
Bay has been out since April 23 and in his absence the Mets have used five different left fielders, but Collins has already said that he’ll resume playing every day. Bay hit .240 with three homers and a .776 OPS in 15 games before the injury.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.