Well, stage one of phasing Jason Bay out of the Mets starting lineup has already been put into place. About a week ago, news broke that the left fielder had until New York returned home to show what he can contribute to the team. Terry Collins had hinted at a platoon situation, but he was still planning on sitting down with Bay to talk things out. However, the speculation became a reality today, as the organization announced that Bay would only be in the lineup against southpaws, as well as a select few right-handed pitchers.
Although it would be better to have him completely out of the lineup, this is better than having him in the order everyday. You can tell that Bay is a gamer and wants to grind it out every night because he’s desperate to to turn his batting practice home runs into actual production during the games, but it’s just not happening. He’s hitting .156 with 5 homers and 11 RBI in 135 at-bats this season, while only going 3-for-his-last-43. Ouch. Last night, we saw Jordany Valdespin man left field as Mike Baxter took right against Nathan Eovaldi. The outfield situation for the Mets is a mess, mostly because none of the players running out there can play everyday. However, Lucas Dudahas been making strides in Triple-A.
In talking with Wally Backman (while he’s busy being suspended and all), Terry Collins knows that Duda’s stance has quieted down considerably since he arrived to the Bisons, and his .262 average in 11 games is not indicative of his true progress, as he’s put together 8 hits in his last 5 games. So, we may be seeing the Duda abiding in Queens pretty soon if he keeps up his current production. Either way, something will need be addressed in the offseason, as Bay, Valdespin (who is a natural infielder), Baxter, Scott Hairston, and Andres Torres can’t be all one big platoon; there needs to be more consistency throughout the lineup to create chemistry.
On a lighter note, just in case you missed it, Ike Davis has entered the twitter world. His twitter handle is @TheIkeDavis, as his main focus is to help him in his charitable work toward finding a cure for cancer. He then told Adam Rubin (who, of course, tweeted it) that he’s too “unstable” to be actively tweeting his thoughts. So, he may not be on it like a Justin Turner, but just give it some time, I’m sure he’ll come around. After only one tweet and following 20 people, Davis has almost 4,000 followers. That’s pretty good for an afternoon’s work.
Once he injured his hand Sunday afternoon in San Diego, backup catcher Rob Johnson received an MRI on Monday and was diagnosed with a hand contusion. New York has been trying to avoid the DL with Johnson, who hasn’t played all week while resting his injury. Reports yesterday said that his hand was feeling better, but Collins still planning to go with Josh Thole behind the plate this afternoon following last night’s game, especially since righty Josh Johnson is on the mound. After a quick start, Johnson has come back down to his career norms at the plate, hitting .244/.300/.267 in 45 at-bats with New York.