The Bay Injury Worries Me

An article by posted on March 30, 2011

Jason Bay is in New York after he was sidelined with a strain in his left intercostal muscle, which is located near the rib cage.

Apparently, Bay injured himself while taking batting practice on Tuesday. You may remember he had previously asked out of a couple of games because of back soreness prior to that.

Some are reporting that he may be in danger of starting the season on the disabled list. The team expects to make some sort of announcement on that sometime today.

If you had told me that one of the Mets outfielders would be starting the season on the DL, I would have assumed it was Carlos Beltran. What is it about these never ending injuries we get socked with, and how it always seems to wipe out our highest priced players?

I’ve been concerned about Jason Bay for a while now.

Since Jason Bay signed his deal, there hasn’t been much in the way of production from him, at least not the kind of production one would expect for $66 million dollars, or $81 million when you consider his easily attainable vesting option.

He never seemed to get acclimated to the Mets last year and was on the verge of what could only be described as a disappointing season that was made worse after a concussion wiped him out for the rest of the year.

He decided against playing winter ball this offseason as was his right to do so, and he also opted not to show up early for spring training, again he wasn’t required to do so. I would have preferred to see him report early if only to show the team and fans that he was eager and committed to putting last season behind him and that he was hell bent on getting ready to deliver on that mammoth sized contract he has yet to earn. It might have shown a sense of urgency on his part, but regardless he did nothing wrong and like I said he was well within his rights. I thought it was a little wierd when terry Collins kept complaining about Luis Castillo not reporting early because he had a lot to prove. I thought Jason Bay had even more to prove. Enough on that.

When Bay did show up, he came to camp sporting a new batting stance that came as a result of consulting with his former batting coach from his days in Pittsburgh. He never seemed happy with it and throughout most of the spring he frequently commented that he wasn’t making the kind of contact he was looking for. I thought he was having a good spring, but Bay was talking about driving the ball and hitting homeruns. He was batting .333 and had 14 hits in 42 at-bats, however 12 of them were singles and the other two doubles.

I was actually hoping to see him come out like gangbusters this spring too, but honestly I wasn’t very concerned about it and figured he would eventually work things out.

It’s been a long time since we last saw Bay hit a home run. You have to go all the way back to June 28th when he hit his his 5th and 6th homers against the Marlins, nobody knew they would be his last.

I took a look at Bay’s numbers and it’s frustrating to see just the six home runs for 2010 after he slugged 36 of them the season before with the Boston Red Sox.

But the other things I discovered and are just as frustrating goes beyond the lack of home runs…

His .402 slugging percentage was the lowest of his eight year career and over 100 points lower than his career mark.

Additionally, his on-base percentage took a hit too and was the second lowest mark of his career.

Too many red flags for my liking, especially for the amount of money we have invested in him.

I was reminded about how sizable that investment was when I calculated that when Jason Bay collects his next paycheck on April 15th, he will have earned more money in 14 months with the Mets than in his seven years with the Pirates and Red Sox combined.

Lets hope for some good news today from Sandy Alderson. Lets hope this rib cage injury does not require a stint on the DL and that it will not nag him all season long as some are saying.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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