When the Mets ended the 2009 season, they had three main goals on the agenda; revamp the bullpen, sign a top of the rotation pitcher, and get a power bat to play leftfield, bat cleanup and give David Wright protection.
Obviously, we never got the starting pitcher, it’s still too early to tell if the bullpen has been fixed (recent struggles would point to no), but the Mets did manage to sign Jason Bay after a prolonged negotiation.
Bay only hit .267 last season, but did hit 36 home runs and 119 RBI and is a career .280 hitter. Most of us including me saw it as a solid acquisition, however as we pass the one-quarter pole, Bay is still batting around .267 only his power numbers are woefully deficient and not at all what anyone including the Mets expected. Bay just one homerun in 150 at-bats to go with just 16 RBIs.
Yesterday Ike Davis made his debut at the cleanup spot in the Mets lineup, and Jerry Manuel said it won’t be the last time.
“I think we’re going to try to leave him there for a while,” Manuel said. “I think he’s ready to handle that. I don’t think it’ll be a problem to him. He’s a left-handed hitter that we think has the potential to be a good hitter, as well as a guy with power.”
That’s great and all, and yes I Like Ike, but wasn’t Jason Bay supposed to fill that role?
Has he already been supplanted as the teams cleanup hitter by a rookie who failed to make the team out of spring training and has all of three weeks of Major League experience?
Furthermore, is this new direction an affirmation that the Mets have lost confidence in their newly signed $66 million dollar slugger who they signed through the 2013 season?
Jason Bay was actually in the midst of an eleven game hitting streak in which he batted .367 when he was suddenly and abruptly given the day off by Jerry Manuel on Tuesday. He returned yesterday and saw his streak come to an end after a hitless return to the lineup. No more hit streak courtesy of the J-Man.
Some say he’s very streaky, but at no time in his career has he ever had a drought like this.
One homerun in his last 52 games going back to last season is kind of shocking no matter how you slice it. Oh, and please spare me the “he has a great .360 OBP argument”, that’s not why the Mets signed him. Bay has an embarassing .399 slugging percentage which is lower than catchers Henry Blanco and Rod Barajas who are not known for their slugging prowess. That is like the Mendoza line for slugging percentage my friends, especially for those who reside in the $15MM a year neighborhoods.
If now is not the time to start worrying, can someone please tell me when so I can mark it down on my calendar and unload my anxiety until then?
The Mets thought they were signing a thumper, but so far he’s been a stumper and as far as homeruns go, a real slumper.
With Yankees in town this weekend, the Mets sure could use Bay’s once powerful bat. If he doesn’t start jacking the ball out of the park beginning with this next homestand, he may as well deliver the pink slip to Jerry Manuel himself.