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Bruce out of starting lineup again Monday, but says foot is improving

Fighting plantar fasciitis, outfielder is expected to return Tuesday against Nationals. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

Mets rightfielder Jay Bruce reacts after he struck

Mets rightfielder Jay Bruce reacts after he struck out in the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Pain in Jay Bruce’s left foot kept him out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game Monday night, but Bruce and manager Mickey Callaway expect him to return Tuesday.

The plantar fasciitis in his left heel “flared up” over the weekend, Bruce said. Although he felt better Monday after a couple of days of treatment that included soft-tissue work and a stretching regimen, the team decided to give him an extra day off, per Callaway’s philosophy.

“His way of thinking is once you feel pretty good, take one more day, especially at this point in the season,” Bruce said. “One day can keep you from missing some extended time.”

Bruce pinch hit for Amed Rosario in the eighth inning and grounded out.

Bruce dealt with the foot issue last season and in spring training, and Callaway acknowledged that managing it could require periodic off days for Bruce.

“Any time a player is dealing with something, you’re worried about it,” Callaway said. “It sounds like he’s getting some good treatment. He’s honest with us, which is good.”

A Nido-Noah pairing?

After Noah Syndergaard praised rookie catcher Tomas Nido following their game together Sunday, Callaway didn’t rule out pairing them more often. “I’d like to be able to not worry about who is catching who,” Callaway said. “The circumstances have changed a little bit with our catching. And if we need to do that to give ourselves a slight advantage on that day to make somebody feel a little more comfortable, maybe we will do that.”

Extra bases

Yoenis Cespedes, who was in a 5-for-36 (.139) stretch in eight games during which he battled flu-like symptoms for a few days, found himself on the bench Monday for the first time this season. “He didn’t like it,’’ Callaway said. “He was like, ‘What? Why?’ I was like, ‘I feel like you need it.’ ” Cespedes pinch hit for Jose Lobaton in the eighth inning and flied out . . . Righthander Anthony Swarzak (strained left oblique) is progressing but likely is weeks away from returning. He is starting a throwing program this week and will head to Port St. Lucie when the Mets head out on a three-city trip that begins Thursday . . . Lefthander Jason Vargas (fractured right hand) will throw another simulated game Tuesday in Port St. Lucie.

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