With the New York Mets winning three games in a row–including last night’s exhilarating 7-1 rout of the Phillies–it’s sometimes easy to forget that one of the Mets best hitters is on the DL. Jason Bay, who signed a mammoth four year, $66 million deal last season, was an offensive dud before succumbing full-time to a late-season concussion. The righty slugger seemed primed to prove his value in 2011, but fell pray to a rib cage injury during the last week of Spring Training.
Mets fans were initially disappointed to see Willie Harris start in leftfield in his place, however, Harris has ironically sparked the Mets offense with his surprising .400/.455/.900 line and 1 HR, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R, and 1 SB over the past four games. As exciting as Harris and the Mets have been lately, fans have seemed to forget where Jason Bay is.
According to ESPN, Jason Bay, who is eligible to be activated from the DL on Saturday, will most likely not be healthy in time. In fact, Bay still needs to test out his rib cage by taking some live batting practice and other game-related activities–a process that could very well leave the Mets without their predominant cleanup hitter from last season for an extended period of time.
The heroics of Willie Harris over the past four games has been a great early season moment, but realistically, Harris, who owns a career .240/.328/.355 line, will not be able to continue at his current rate. More importantly, once Harris returns to Earth, Jason Bay’s void will hit particularly hard.