Mets infielder/outfielder Jeff McNeil started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday, Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News reports. McNeil went to the injured list Aug. 14 with a hamstring strain, making him eligible to return Saturday. It’s not clear whether he’ll come back this weekend, though, as the Mets first “want to see him ranging and running down balls just to make sure he’s totally healthy,” according to manager Mickey Callaway. Meanwhile, although right-hander Marcus Stroman left his start early on Wednesday with left hamstring tightness, he doesn’t expect to miss any time (via Tim Britton of The Athletic). “I’m going to make that start against the Cubs on Tuesday,” Stroman said of his next scheduled outing.
Here’s more on a couple other NL East clubs…
- It looks as if Nationals righty Joe Ross will make his scheduled start Saturday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes. Ross left his most recent start this past Monday in the fourth inning after taking a 110 mph comebacker off the right leg. Even though Nationals ace Max Scherzer finally returned from a weeks-long absence Thursday, the club doesn’t plan to lift Ross from its rotation. The 26-year-old helped Washington weather the temporary loss of Scherzer by delivering an incredible 21 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his first four starts of the month, though Ross only managed a 13:9 K:BB ratio in that span.
- More from Zuckerman, who observes that the Nationals’ signing of Asdrubal Cabrera has worked out brilliantly for the club. The Nationals brought in Cabrera on a low-paying deal Aug. 5 after the Rangers released the 33-year-old infielder, who underwhelmed in Texas over the season’s first few months. However, since joining the Nats, Cabrera has slashed .324/.422/.622 with a pair of home runs over a small sample of 45 plate appearances. Cabrera attributes some of his success to hitting coach Kevin Long, whom he has reunited with in Washington after the two were with the Mets from 2015-17. “He knows me,” Cabrera said. “I played for him two years, and he knows when my swing is good or when it’s not.”
- Marlins righty Pablo Lopez could return to their rotation before the month’s out, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Lopez has been out for just over two months with a shoulder issue, having gone on the injured list June 19. The 23-year-old impressed over 14 starts before then, notching a 4.23 ERA/3.56 FIP with 8.57 K/9, 2.11 BB/9 and a 48.8 percent groundball rate in 76 2/3 innings.