Update: Jason Bay will be activated from the Disabled List and start in left field for tonight’s finale against the Astros.
I get it. Jason Bay had a major injury last season, as his season ended when he suffered a concussion making that great catch against the Dodgers. But, as we all remember he had a terrible start to his Mets career, as he only had 6 homer runs in 95 games played before he went down. You may be able to attribute some of his struggles to the adjustment to New York, and pressure that comes along with playing in the big City. But he played in Boston for a year and half before coming to Flushing, and was involved in two playoff runs there.
Jason Bay needs to hit, and hit right out of the gate. With the Mets struggles in the early going, they are looking for a spark. This City wants something to get excited about since they have not had that since late in 2008. The fans may be give Bay a grace period of a week or two, but that will be about it. If the Mets wants any fans in the stands come August, Jason needs to help put runs on the board fast.
This City lost both of it’s whipping boys this spring, when new General Manager Sandy Alderson released Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo. They are looking for someone to take their frustration out on, and Bay is just the guy. He has not earned a penny of his 66 million dollar contract yet. With the offense sputtering, and with Bay supposed to bat in the middle of the order, he will be expected to contribute right away. Bay had a monster year in his final season in Boston, as he clubbed 36 homers. Citi Field may not offer a short porch like Boston, but with him playing half of his games on the road, he should be able to hit 20 home runs this season. Jason played in a big ballpark at PNC in Pittsburgh, and still hit 20 or more home runs in all 5 seasons there, including two 30 homer seasons.
Jason Bay is the second highest paid hitter on the Mets roster behind Carlos Beltran. If he does not perform to his capabilities, he will hear the wrath of the Flushing faithful. His bat could make a huge difference in this lineup, especially on days when Beltran has to sit. Bay has a lot of pride and coming into this season, he vowed he would redeem himself. If his contract alone doesn’t make him a target, another poor showing like last season will definitely make him public enemy #1 in New York.