Bisons manager Tim Teufel has got his instructions for tonight from Mets manager Terry Collins: get outfielder Angel Pagan as many at-bats as possible.
That means Pagan will hit leadoff as the Herd opens a four-game set with the Gwinnett Braves at Coca-Cola Field.
Pagan won’t be long for Buffalo; he’s expected to rejoin the Mets prior to their game Friday against Philadelphia.
He will start in center field on his brief one-game rehabilitation assignment as he comes back from a strained left oblique that landed him on the disabled list April 22.
“When they come down here [on rehab], we just get them ready,” Teufel said this afternoon. “In this case with Pagan, it’s a pretty easy thing to do. Stick him in the top of the lineup and let him do his thing.
“That came from TC [Collins]. He said, ‘hey just stick him in the leadoff spot, get him some at-bats and get him ready to come up here.’ ”
Pagan has played six games with the Single-A St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League as part of his rehab. With St. Lucie, he hit .261 (8-23) with a double, home run and two RBIs.
This will be the second time in his career that Pagan has rehabbed with the Bisons. The outfielder joined the Herd for a three-game stint, May 12-16, 2009, while recovering from offseason elbow surgery. He hit .286 (4-14) with two triples, two RBIs and two runs scored in those three games. In his Bisons debut on May 12, he hit a two-run, walk-off triple in the bottom of the 11th inning of a 4-3 win over Gwinnett.
“He said he’s feeling really good,” Teuefel said of Pagan, who will not speak with the media until after the game. “He wants to be more aggressive with the fastball tonight. He’s able to hit breaking balls pretty good, he said, down in St. Lucie. Tonight is about seeing a little bit tougher competition, a little bit better ball movement. … This is a little bit closer to the big leagues than the Florida State League, so this is a good tune-up.”
The Bisons’ starting lineup looks like this:
Luis Figueroa, SS
Valentino Pascucci, 1B
Bubba Bell, RF
Michael Fisher, 3B
Jason Botts, LF
Luis Hernandez, 2B
Mike Nickeas, C
D.J. Carrasco, P
We’ll update each of Pagan’s at-bats tonight on the blog, as well as any weather information, so check back closer to game time.
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