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Baxter's rehab progressing slower than expected

Baxter's rehab progressing slower than expected

Baxter's rehab progressing slower than expected
WASHINGTON -- Despite some encouraging numbers on his Minor League rehab assignment, outfielder Mike Baxter is not close to a return from the disabled list.

Baxter is hitting .267 with three extra-base hits in 15 at-bats for Class A Advanced St. Lucie, but has appeared exclusively as a designated hitter. Because Baxter has not begun throwing, manager Terry Collins said, his return "is a ways out yet."

Sidelined since June 1 with a displaced right collarbone, which he suffered crashing against Citi Field's left-field wall to preserve Johan Santana's no-hitter, Baxter should slide back into a pinch-hitting role upon his return.

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Though doctors initially expected him to miss six weeks, Baxter is already seven weeks into his recovery and rehab.

He was one of the league's best pinch-hitters prior to his injury, going 8-for-18 with five doubles in that role. Collins previously said Baxter will need at least 25-30 Minor League at-bats before he is ready to rejoin the Mets.

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