NEW YORK -- Jason Bay could return to the Mets as soon as Friday for their series against their crosstown rivals. The Interleague series at Yankee Stadium gives Mets manager Terry Collins the flexibility to play Bay at DH to ease him back into action.
Bay has yet to play a game in the field at Class A Port St. Lucie, but Collins expects him to start on Monday. The Mets' left fielder has been out since April 23 with a cracked rib. The initial timetable for his return was six weeks, and Monday marks the start of the sixth week.
"He played yesterday and got two hits today," Collins said Sunday. "We'll hopefully get him some more at-bats tomorrow."
Collins said he doesn't think Bay will need time at another level before returning to the big league club.
"I talked to him the other day, and he thought he's getting all the work he wants down there because of the facility," Collins said. "He can get a lot done in the morning. He actually gets a lot of swinging in and a lot of other things, defensive stuff. He just wants to stay down there. He said, 'Look, I can DH here, I can get all the at-bats I need.'"