Jay Bruce begins a rehab assignment on Tuesday night, and his return could potentially block Mets first base prospect Peter Alonso from getting called up this season.
Bruce will get time at first base and the outfield during his rehab assignment, Mets manager Mickey Callaway said on Tuesday, and the expectation is that he will get plenty of time at first base when he returns to the majors.
The Mets are reportedly not preparing to call up Alonso this season, and the return of Bruce and his presence at first base would seemingly make an Alonso call-up even less likely.
The 23-year-old Alonso, who has been working hard on his defense, has been one of the best hitters in all of the minors this season, and is acting like he's ready for his big league debut.
Bruce was originally placed on the 10-day DL in June after experiencing a butt/back issue as well as plantar fascitis in his left foot. Most recently, he had a setback after suffering a right hip strain, which forced the Mets to shut him down.
Before Bruce hit the DL, his numbers were suffering as well. He has a .212/.292/.321 slash line with three homers and 17 RBi over 62 games. This has been Bruce's worst statistical year since he entered the league in 2008, and these injuries could be playing a major part in that -- something Bruce alluded to in June.
With Bruce under contract through the 2020 season, it's fair to wonder what kind of impact him being on the roster will have on Alonso down the road. Are the Mets doing this to try to build Bruce's trade value, or is his future with the Mets at first base?