Javier Baez is back in the Mets’ lineup and Francisco Lindor should follow in the next few days.
For the Mets, any positive news is refreshing, given the state of their collapse that has seen them go from the NL East favorites to a third-place team seven games behind the division-leading Braves.
Baez was back in the lineup, batting third and playing shortstop, in Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He last appeared in a game on Aug. 10 and had been on the Injured List with back spasms.
Lindor, meanwhile, was still not cleared to return by the team’s performance staff, according to manager Luis Rojas, but the hope is he will be back in the lineup early in the week after being shelved for five weeks due to a right oblique strain. Both players will avoid a rehabilitation assignment, it appears.
“The performance staff still recommends just to be a little bit more cautious, extra cautious we can call it,” Rojas said, referring to Lindor. “So we’re looking at potentially early this week now, getting back to New York when we might see him in action. That’s the reason why he’s not being activated just yet, so just extra steps.”