Jason Bay unlikely to return for at least another two weeks

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Bad news for the middle of the Mets’ projected lineup.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said this afternoon that Jason Bay is unlikely to return from the disabled list until at least April 26 against the Nationals.

“I think it’s unrealistic to expect him before then,” Alderson said.

Bay is currently rehabbing from a strained left intercostal muscle near his ribcage and has just begun swinging a bat in Florida. When Bay initially suffered the injury at the tail-end of spring training, the Mets hoped he would be able to return this past Saturday.

The Mets sent down Lucas Duda following Sunday’s loss to the Nationals, so Willie Harris figures to get most of the playing time in left field for now.

Clay Buchholz makes first major league start in over a year

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The Diamondbacks selected the contract of pitcher Clay Buchholz from Triple-A Reno ahead of Sunday’s game against the Mets. It marked Buchholz’s first major league start since April 11 last season (also against the Mets) when he was a member of the Phillies. Shortly after that start, he was diagnosed with a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass and he ended up not being able to pitch the rest of the season.

Buchholz signed a minor league deal with the Royals but he opted out of his contract at the beginning of this month. The Diamondbacks signed him to a minor league deal a few days later, needing depth with a depleted starting rotation. Buchholz made two starts for Reno before getting the call Sunday.

Buchholz, 33, pitched well on Sunday against the Mets, lasting five innings and limiting the opposition to a run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts. His only blemish was allowing a solo home run to Amed Rosario leading off the sixth. He was immediately relieved by T.J. McFarland afterwards.

It is not yet clear if Buchholz will get another turn through the D-Backs’ rotation.