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Jason Vargas scheduled to make Mets debut on Saturday in San Diego

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Jason Vargas will replace Matt Harvey in the starting rotation

Chris McShane

The Mets announced that Jason Vargas will start for the Las Vegas 51s on Monday night in his first minor league rehab start following an injury suffered during spring training. If all goes well, he is expected to join the Mets’ rotation on Saturday in San Diego.

The Mets signed Vargas to a two-year, $16 million deal in February following his 18-win season with the Kansas City Royals in 2017. They brought the 35-year-old in to serve as a stable presence for the Mets’ young rotation.

Vargas suffered a broken bone in his right—non-pitching—hand during a spring training game, and it has taken longer to heal than originally anticipated. He began the season on the disabled list but was was initially expected to only miss one or two starts. Before his injury, Vargas appeared in three spring training games and had a 4.15 ERA in eight-and-two-thirds innings.

Vargas will take Matt Harvey’s spot in the rotation. Harvey, who has had a terrible start to the season, has been moved to the bullpen. If Vargas starts the Saturday game in San Diego, he’d slot in between Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz in the rotation. Zack Wheeler, who started the year in Triple-A, has performed well overall in his first two starts, which has allowed him to keep his rotation spot.