D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Reyes Readies for Return

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Mets are finally about to get some help for their lifeless lineup. Jose Reyes played six innings at shortstop and went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored Monday in a minor league rehab game with Class A Brooklyn, paving the way for his return from the disabled list Tuesday night against the Cardinals.

Reyes has been sidelined since straining his left hamstring while beating out an infield single against the Yankees on July 2. He was batting .354/.398/.529 with a .927 OPS prior to the injury and returns with a seven-game hitting streak. The impending free agent still ranks first in the National League in hits, batting average and triples and second in runs scored and stolen bases.

The Mets averaged just 3.83 runs per game during Reyes' absence (4.48 runs per game prior to the injury) and it actually looks much worse when you take out the 11 runs they pounded out Saturday against Cole Hamels and the Phillies. Angel Pagan batted .192 with one homer and five RBI filling in for Reyes at the top of the lineup, so he wasn't exactly doing the job as a table setter.

The good news doesn't stop with Reyes, though. Carlos Beltran is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday after missing three games with the flu and David Wright went 3-for-6 in his latest rehab game with High-A St. Lucie on Monday and remains on track to rejoin the Mets on Friday in Florida.

While things are looking up for some valuable fantasy options in the Mets' lineup, here are some more news and notes from around a busy Monday in the baseball world.

- The Mets aren't the only National League East team getting well. Chipper Jones, who underwent surgery just 10 days ago to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, is tentatively scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with Class A Rome.

The Braves are sending Jones to Rome so that he can serve as the designated hitter. He'll likely play there on Friday and Saturday before being reevaluated. While he is eligible to return from the disabled list as soon as Sunday, he is not expected to rejoin the Braves until next Monday.

The 39-year-old Jones is batting .259/.340/.428 with eight home runs, 46 RBI and a .768 OPS over 329 plate appearances this season. He had a seven-game hitting streak going before deciding to go under the knife.

- This may be time to see what you can get for Mariners' rookie right-hander Michael Pineda. While the Mariners indicated last month that they wouldn't shut him down at any point this season, pitching coach Carl Willis told Greg Johns of MLB.com Monday that "his innings are going to be an issue."

What changed here? Well, the Mariners have lost nine consecutive games and now sit 11 1/2 games out of first place in the American League West. They simply have little incentive to keep Pineda on the mound well into September.

- Want to hear perhaps the most encouraging news of the day? Sure you do.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that rehabbing right-hander Stephen Strasburg topped out at 95 mph during a simulated game Monday afternoon in Viera, Florida. And that was Strasburg being "a little tentative," according to the skipper.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that Strasburg is currently "early-mid spring training mode," but it's expected that he will need several more simulated games and batting practice sessions before going out on a minor league rehab assignment. However, if he continues to make progress, there's still a chance he could pitch with the Nationals in September.

NL Quick Hits: Roy Halladay exited Monday's start in the fifth inning with heat exhaustion, but is expected to make his next scheduled start … Ryan Braun (calf) was out of the lineup for the second straight day Monday, but is expected to avoid the disabled list … Shane Victorino (thumb) is expected to return from the disabled list Tuesday … Aramis Ramirez cited family concerns as the primary reason why he will not approve a trade … Jason Heyward was scratched from Monday's lineup with a left foot contusion … Shaun Marcum (neck) expects to make his next scheduled start … Ryan Vogelsong tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in Monday's win over the Dodgers, lowering his NL-best ERA to 2.02 … Carlos Marmol walked two and struck out two over a scoreless inning of relief in a non-save situation Monday against the Phillies … Placido Polanco (back) could receive a cortisone injection on Thursday … Padres reliever Mike Adams has applied for a passport just in case he is traded to an American League team … Mike Morse hit his first homer in 15 games Monday night against the Astros … Jonathan Sanchez (biceps) was smoked for six runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings Sunday in his first minor league rehab start with High-A San Jose … Miguel Tejada left Monday's game with a lower abdominal strain … Chris Coghlan was pulled from his rehab assignment after suffering a setback with his left knee … Tom Gorzelanny (ankle) isn't sure if he'll be ready for his next start … Scott Hairston is day-to-day after fouling a ball off his left shin Monday … Mark DeRosa will resume his rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday after going 2-for-5 with a double and a walk in two rehab games with High-A San Jose over the weekend … Clay Hensley held the injury-plagued Mets to just one hit over five scoreless innings Monday in his first start since 2008 … Ivan Rodriguez (oblique) hit off a tee and took soft toss without any pain Monday … The Nationals activated Jerry Hairston Jr. from the disabled list Monday … Edinson Volquez allowed five runs (four earned) over six innings Sunday in his latest start with Triple-A Louisville …

AL Quick Hits: Carl Crawford (hamstring) went 2-for-5 with an RBI single and two runs scored in his return from the disabled list Monday … Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Orioles closer Kevin Gregg began serving respective three-game suspensions Monday as a result of their benches-clearing incident on July 8 … Joe Mauer went 6-for-8 in Monday's doubleheader against the Indians … The Indians placed Grady Sizemore (knee) on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee contusion … Jon Lester (strained lat) is on track to return from the disabled list next Monday against the Royals … Justin Morneau (neck) will begin baseball activities this week … The Orioles finalized a three-year, $22.5 million contract extension with shortstop J.J. HardyAlex Gordon sat out Monday's game after fouling a ball off his right foot Sunday … Scott Baker (elbow) will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday or Thursday before the Twins decide whether he will make his next scheduled start … Clay Buchholz (back) played catch from 120 feet Monday, but there's no timetable for him to throw from a mound … In his return from the disabled list Monday, Fausto Carmona (quad) allowed two runs over seven innings as the Indians swept a doubleheader from the Twins … Juan Pierre is batting .409 (18-for-44) on his current 10-game hitting streak … Julio Borbon is expected to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery Monday to repair ligaments in his left ankle … Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Angels have interest in Wilson BetemitRamiro Pena underwent an emergency appendectomy Monday and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks … Eric Chavez (foot, back, abdomen) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A Tampa … Danny Duffy will be recalled from Triple-A Omaha to start Tuesday against the White Sox … The Rays have promoted prospect left-hander Matt Moore to Triple-A Durham …

D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
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