Jeff McNeil
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

New York Mets utility man Jeff McNeil reportedly may need some rehab games under his belt before returning to the lineup.

Last Tuesday, New York Mets leadoff hitter Jeff McNeil suffered what’s being called a “mild hamstring strain” in Atlanta. The second-year player, who’s third in the majors in batting average (.332), was scheduled to return to action on Saturday, Aug. 24, when the Mets take on the Braves at Citi Field.

However, the imminent return may arrive even later than that, per Andy Martino of SNY.

“We hear that Jeff McNeil, eligible to come off the injured list Aug. 24, might need to play in minor league rehab games before he returns,” wrote Martino. “The team has not yet determined a schedule for those games, but it seems they could push back his return just a bit.”

Shortstop Amed Rosario, who’s spent a good amount of time in the seventh and eighth spots in the batting order this year, has taken McNeil’s place due to his recent resurgence. Rosario has 12 home runs and 53 RBIs through 120 games this year, putting up a slash line of .291/.329/.452.

As far as the defense is concerned, McNeil has bounced around between four different positions this season. Manager Mickey Callaway has had to juggle his defensive lineup all season and McNeil’s versatility has been a godsend for the Mets.

The Mets will surely need McNeil back if they want to go on a postseason run, as they’re 2.0 games back in the National League Wild Card race at the moment. McNeil has 15 home runs and 55 RBIs through 105 games this year.

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