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.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.