Can the Mets get anything out of Jason Bay?

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Hot Stove, Opinion
Tags: ,

By Steven Inman

To say Jason Bay has been a bust for the New York Mets would be putting it lightly. Bay, who has disappointed in his power numbers in his first two seasons in flushing, year three, has gone significantly worse. Jason Bay not only can’t hit homers he also can’t get base hits anymore so the big question is, should the Mets cut Jason Bay?

Bay hit .259 and .245 in 2010 and 2011 for the Mets a far cry from his 36 homeruns and 119 Runs Batted In, during his last season in Boston when the Mets gave him a 4 year 66 million dollar contract. Many people believe the money got to his head and put too much pressure on him. Bay was replacing Manny Ramirez in Boston, a true legend so I’m not buying that he had too much pressure on him.

Others believe his power stroke just hasn’t translated to Citifield. That’s possible but most major league hitters in their prime don’t go from 36 homers to 6 in just one year. I believe the main factors for Bay’s drop in production are his multiple concussions.

Medical doctors in sports have become very technologically advanced over the past few years but have gained very little info on the effects of concussions. Concussions affect players in different ways and nobody including the Mets knows if concussions still are affecting Jason Bay.

Mets manager Terry Collins believes the slowed reactions of Bay due to his multiple concussions are the reasons for his struggles this year according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Bay is batting only .157 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in 199 plate appearances this season. “I just think that those concussions take an effect on guys,” Collins said. “There are times when you see everything you thought that he could bring to the table – great defender, a good thrower, power, and a tremendous teammate. And then, all of a sudden, there will be some times where he struggles. He has no answers to it.” Even when Bay has been deemed healthy Jason has hit just .234 with 25 homers in 3 seasons with the Mets.

It is unfortunate because as Collins just said Bay is referred to as an excellent teammate by most players on the team. It just hasn’t worked out. The plan going forward for Bay is to platoon in left field with Lucas Duda. Duda will play against righties and Bay will play against lefties. That plan probably won’t work however as Bay is hitting just .146 against lefties. Bay no longer has a role on this team if he can’t hit lefties.

Bay will go into spring training with the Mets next season competing for a job in left field. However if he doesn’t show the ability to hit for power, the Mets will have no choice but to cut him next March. Sandy Alderson wasn’t afraid to cut dead weight in Spring Training in the past like Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo despite the Mets owing them a combined 18 million dollars. He may have to do the same with Bay and the 19 million dollars he is owed next season.

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