The New York Mets haven't exactly been an offensive juggernaut in the early going, but a contributing factor is that they've been playing without Jason Bay, who suffered an intercostal strain in his rib cage during the spring. Bay's been on the disabled list and just recently started swinging the bat, and on Tuesday general manager Sandy Alderson gave a timetable for Bay's return.
According to Alderson, Bay won't come back to the Mets until April 26th "at the earliest". His injury is one that tends to heal slowly, and the Mets are taking every precaution.
Until Bay returns, the Mets will continue handing the majority of the starts in left field to Willie Harris, who's off to a fast start this season with eight hits in 27 at bats. Harris is by no means a worthy substitute, but with a hot bat and decent defense, he can certainly act like one for a few weeks at a time, and he's well on his way in that regard.