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.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.