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Mets third baseman J.D. Davis returns to lineup after stint on injured list

J.D. Davis #28 of the Mets looks on

J.D. Davis #28 of the Mets looks on before a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on Saturday, Apr. 10, 2021. Credit: Jim McIsaac

DENVER — J.D. Davis has returned to the Mets — and his role as the starting third baseman.

Activated from the injured list prior to the team’s doubleheader against the Rockies on Saturday, Davis was in the lineup immediately, playing third and batting seventhin the opener. He went 1-for-3 in the Mets' 4-3 victory.

He pronounced himself fully recovered from a bruised left hand, the result of getting hit by a pitch on April 6. Thanks to the Mets’ postponements and a day off, he missed only six games.

"With all these rainouts, it’s unbelievable," Davis said. "It’s fortunate enough not to miss that many games."

Davis’ reinstatement is bad news for Luis Guillorme and Jonathan Villar, who filled in for him. Entering play Saturday, Villar was hitting. 263 with a .474 slugging percentage in eight games. Guillorme reached in eight of 15 plate appearances.

In his past 23 starts — dating to Aug. 6, 2019 — Guillorme has hit .391 with a .989 OPS.

Villar had a pinch-hit RBI double to tie the game in the seventh inning Saturday. He started at third base in Game 2 and went 0-for-3.

Despite the hot start from Guillorme in particular, manager Luis Rojas reiterated that Davis is the Mets’ primary choice at third.

"From the beginning, we established that he’s our primary third baseman," Rojas said. "We’ll see how things are doing, and we want to keep guys that are swinging the bat like Guillorme is, like Villar is, active. We want to keep them in there, for sure."

Davis was not able to face live pitching while sidelined. Since spring training ended March 29, he has taken just five plate appearances. He suspects it might take a few days to return to form.

"It’s definitely going to be a little bit rusty but I’m not too nervous about it, too worried about it," Davis said. "It’s just baseball. Just get a few games under me, get my legs under me and timing will come. It is what it is."

Roster juggling

To clear a space for Davis, the Mets optioned infielder Jose Peraza to the alternate training site. He was with the team for a week but did not get into a game. Because the Mets are on the road, he remained with the major-league club as part of the taxi squad.

The Mets called up lefthander Stephen Tarpley as their 27th man for the doubleheader. He served in that role Tuesday, too, but did not pitch.

Rigthhander Franklyn Kilome also was sent to the alternate site. He cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week.

Debut day

In the 10th game of the season — and the 17th day of the season — Robert Gsellman finally pitched. He tossed a scoreless inning in the Mets’ 7-2 loss to the Rockies, the second game of their doubleheader.

Trevor Hildenberger also pitched a scoreless frame, his Mets and season debut.

Ex-Yank signing

The Mets signed outfielder Mason Williams to a minor-league contract. Williams, 29, used to be a big-time Yankees prospect, ranked on top-100 lists heading into the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He has played in 97 major-league games the past six years, spending the past two seasons with the Orioles.

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