Baxter, who displaced his right collarbone on June 1 when he crashed into the left-field fence at Citi Field making a catch to save Johan Santana's no-hitter, only needs to make a few more rehab appearances in the outfield.
Baxter appeared in nine games entering Wednesday but played the outfield in only two of them. Swinging the bat came first in his recovery, and Collins wants a better report on how Baxter feels throwing the ball and playing defense.
The native of Queens saw time at Class A Advanced Port St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton, and is now with Triple-A Buffalo, where he played the past two games. He went 4-for-8 with Buffalo, playing left field in one game and designated hitter in the other. Altogether, he is 11-for-33 with seven RBIs during his rehab assignment.
"It's more about the bat speed -- is he making solid contact? Sometimes those base hits can be deceptive," Collins said. "How's his strength? How's his arm? Because Mike Baxter had a pretty good arm. I want to make sure that arm strength's back. The reports so far have been pretty good about the way he's been swinging."