Daniel Murphy begins rehab assignment

MILWAUKEE -- Daniel Murphy's return from a left quadriceps strain took a step forward on Wednesday. Murphy started at third base for the Gulf Coast League Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as a rehab assignment began. He went 1-for-1 with a walk before the game was halted in the fourth inning due to rain.

Murphy may be activated from the disabled list and may join the New York Mets as soon as this weekend against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field.

He has been sidelined since departing a June 4 game at Arizona.

Murphy manning third base in the rehab assignment essentially confirms the Mets intend to use him at that position, not second base, once he is activated.

The Mets have received underwhelming production from third base this season -- a .256 average with three homers and 27 RBIs in 266 at-bats.