Chris Young, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps on April 3, is set to begin playing rehab games for Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday.
Young appeared in extended spring training games earlier in the week before joining Las Vegas to continue his rehab.
Young is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on April 18, when the Mets begin a three-game set against the Braves at Citi Field.
However, when Chris Young returns from the disabled list, Eric Young, Jr. will simply have to become a bench player. If general manager Sandy Alderson has to intervene in order to hammer that point home, so be it.
Juan Lagares is far too valuable to not be playing every day. His defense alone trumps what Young, Jr. provides on both ends of the ball.
To partially solve the leadoff conundrum, Chris Young (who has hit .262 with a .363 on base percentage against lefties for his career) can lead off when a left-hander is on the mound.