Mets Injury Updates: Jason Bay and Frank Francisco Making Progress

By Matt Musico

Over the weekend, Terry Collins gave the media updates on Jason Bay and Frank Francisco. New York’s closer left the team for Port St. Lucie towards the end of last week, but wasn’t expected to start making steps toward rehabbing his strained left oblique until today in Florida. Meanwhile, Bay is starting very light baseball activity, under watchful eye of the Mets medical staff.

According to the Mets, Francisco will be playing catch today in Port St. Lucie, and will be evaluated to see how he feels after. The reliever hurt himself last weekend against the Yankees, coincidentally after calling the Bronx Bombers “chickens,” which garnered attention from the media, to say the least. For an already beleaguered bullpen, it was frustrating as a fan to see Francisco go down, especially since he has been just about lights out since his early season blow up (converting nine-of-ten save opportunities, 1.26 ERA). However, the solid performances of Bobby Parnellhave allowed the Mets to take their time with Francisco, especially since oblique

injuries are tough for pitchers to quickly come back from. In his three appearances in the ninth inning, Parnell has registered one save in his only opportunity, and hasn’t allowed a base runner.

Jason Bay took another step towards making a return to the Mets after the All-Star break, as he did some running yesterday in New York. He is still reporting no recurring symptoms from his concussion, and Terry Collins said that he expects his left fielder to hit off a tee this week. Once he completes that, the medical staff will re-evaluate Bay to determine whether he is healthy enough to fly down to Port St. Lucie and begin his rehab assignment. Once again, I hope to God they make him move his way through multiple levels of the minor leagues before they activate him off the disabled list; it would make the most sense, so we’ll see how Bay’s rehab is handled this time around.

Once Bay and Francisco are healthy enough to return to the Mets, it will be the first time in quite a while where Terry Collins will be able to throw out the starting lineup that he projected before the start of the season, and have his closer in the bullpen to shut the door if need be. It looks as if New York has survived the injury storm to this point in 2012, much better than they have in recent years. After all the DL trips they’ve had to endure in this first half, knowing that they’re still 3.5 games out of first is astonishing, not only to fans, but everyone in baseball outside of the Mets organization.