New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce will play his first game on Tuesday as the designated hitter.
The New York Mets are planning on easing re-signed outfielder Jay Bruce into Spring Training action. The right fielder, who signed a three-year deal during the offseason, has been slowed by plantar fasciitis, is set to play designated hitter on Tuesday, according to SNY.
The Mets are scheduled to be the home team against the Houston Astros on Tuesday, however, for Spring Training, the home team can elect to include designated hitters for a game, even if there is a National League team at home. It’s also possible that the team decides to have him appear in a minor league game instead to get his feet wet, although that doesn’t seem likely this early in camp.
Bruce was brought back by the Mets to supply power out of the middle of the lineup, and to rejoin Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes, who has traded golf for yoga, in the outfield.
Bruce previously spent parts of 2016 and 2017 with the Mets, appearing in 153 games. He slashed .245/.313/.482 with the Mets, but collected 37 home runs and 94 RBIs.
His numbers as a Met are roughly in line with his career numbers, as he has slashed .249/.319/.472 with 277 home runs and 838 RBIs in his 10-year career. His .482 OPS with the Mets is higher than his total with the Reds or the Indians.
The Mets have famously struggled with injuries in recent years, resulting in the team replacing their training staff over the offseason. Although Bruce’s issue is concerning, it’s not a serious injury, and he has been able to take batting practice and run the bases recently, meaning the injury is progressing.
With slightly over a month until Opening Day, there isn’t cause for concern yet. It’s still more than likely that he will step back into the left-handed batter’s box on Mar. 29.