Bay might be ready to rejoin Mets on Tuesday

Bay might be ready to rejoin Mets on Tuesday

ATLANTA -- Jason Bay began a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie on Saturday night, and Mets manager Terry Collins expressed hope that the outfielder might be ready to rejoin the team as early as Tuesday for the series opener against the Astros.

Bay played six innings in left field for St. Lucie against Charlotte and went 1-for-2 with an intentional walk. The hit was a single.

Bay, sidelined since late March because of a strained ribcage, played in an extended spring game Friday, going 0-for-2 and drawing a walk. That cleared him to join the St. Lucie team for Florida State League games against Charlotte on Saturday and Ft. Myers on Sunday.

"We'll see where we're at after that," Collins said. "He's been swinging, he's been hitting, he's been running. He's done everything. Now it's just game at-bats."

Asked if the two games with St. Lucie would be enough to get Bay ready to return to the Mets on Tuesday, Collins said, "Ideally. In a perfect world, yes."

Bay hasn't played in a regular-season game since late July 2010, when he suffered a concussion crashing into the left-field wall at Dodger Stadium. His first season with the Mets had already been a disappointment, with the right-handed hitter batting just .259 with six homers in 95 games.