Angel Pagan expected to return from disabled list Friday

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The Mets are still missing David Wright and Ike Davis, but they’re about to get one of their regulars back in the starting lineup.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, Mets manager Terry Collins said this afternoon that Angel Pagan will play one game with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday before being activated from the disabled list for Friday’s series opener against the Phillies.

Pagan has been sidelined since April 21 with a strained left oblique. He was on the verge of returning earlier this month, but was shut down after feeling more pain in his side. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, two walks a run scored in a rehab game with High-A St. Lucie earlier this afternoon and is batting .263 (5-for-19) with one home run, one double and two RBI during his most recent rehab assignment.

The Mets moved Carlos Beltran to right field with the idea of using Pagan as their everyday center fielder, but the 29-year-old was batting just .159/.259/.246 with one home run and six RBI over his first 82 plate appearances prior to being placed on the disabled list. Pagan was one of the most valuable members of the team last year, so that probably buys him a bit of time to get back up to speed, but it will interesting to see if Terry Collins runs out of patience should he continue to struggle.

Marlins designate Derek Dietrich for assignment

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The Marlins designated utilityman Derek Dietrich for assignment, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. This comes amid a flurry of moves on Tuesday night as teams prepare their rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft next month.

Dietrich, 29, is coming off another strong season in which he hit .265/.330/.421 with 16 home runs, 45 RBI, and 72 runs scored in 551 plate appearances. He played all over the diamond, spending most of his time in left field and at first base. Dietrich also played some second base, third base, and right field.

Dietrich is entering his third of four years of arbitration eligibility. He earned $2.9 million this past season and MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn $4.8 million in 2019. Cutting Dietrich represents a bit more than 4 million in savings for the rebuilding and perennially small-market Marlins. Dietrich should draw some interest, so the Marlins could end up trading him rather soon.

Wonder how J.T. Realmuto, now the longest-tenured Marlin, is feeling right about now.