Mets left fielder Mike Baxter crashes into the wall after...

Mets left fielder Mike Baxter crashes into the wall after making a leaping catch on Jesus Guzman's drive in the first inning. (May 25, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mike Baxter returned from the disabled list Monday night, but not to the lineup. That could come Tuesday night against Giants righthander Tim Lincecum.

But Mets manager Terry Collins didn't say Baxter would be replacing Jason Bay even though Bay went into Monday night hitless in his last 22 at-bats with a batting average of .159. "Not necessarily," was Collins' response when asked if Baxter's new position could be leftfield. "Maybe."

It could be rightfield, since Collins seems to want either Baxter or Jordany Valdespin coming off the bench and the Mets are trying to give Bay as much time as possible to get going. "He's a guy who wants to help this team," Collins said of Bay.

As for Baxter, he has been out since suffering a displaced right collarbone and fractured rib cartilage crashing into Citi Field's leftfield wall to save Johan Santana's June 1 no-hitter with a highlight-reel catch.

Even though Baxter was hitting .323 in 65 at-bats and enjoying his best success as a big-leaguer, he said he has no regrets about sacrificing his body for the out.

"That's a night that I will never forget," Baxter said. "I don't think anybody that was with the team will forget it . . . I wouldn't trade it in to give up something like that."

Deal or no deal?

Collins was asked if he expected to have the same roster after Tuesday's 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.

"Yes," he said.

Extra bases

Frank Francisco (oblique) is expected to pitch Tuesday night and Wednesday for Double-A Binghamton . . . Former Giant Andres Torres was given a standing ovation before his first at-bat in the first inning. Torres doffed his batting helmet.


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