UPDATE: After predicting that Jason Bay would not play again this season, Mets manager Jerry Manuel backtracked from those comments after Friday’s game.
“It appears that I was a little premature in saying Jason Bay wouldn’t
be back,” Manuel said. “It appears he is recovering nicely and that
there is a possibility he will be back to play.”
Still, it’s doubtful. Multiple team officials tell Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that Bay’s headaches have yet to subside for a 48-hour period.
Friday, 9:05 pm: This isn’t entirely shocking news, but Mets manager Jerry Manuel told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that he doesn’t expect Jason Bay to return this season.
“That’s the way I see it. I could be way out of line, or way out of bounds. But that’s the way I see it.”
A team official told Rubin that Bay is unable to go 48 hours without a recurrence of concussion-related symptoms. The Mets obviously aren’t going to take any chances with him, especially after the way they botched the Ryan Church situation in 2008.
Bay’s season was already a disappointment even before he crashed face-first into the left field wall in Los Angeles on July 23, but now we can safely call it a full-fledged disaster. If what Manuel says is true, the 31-year-old outfielder wraps up his first year in Queens with a .259/.347/.402 batting line to go along with just six homers and 46 RBI.
Signed to a back-loaded four-year, $66 million contract, Bay is owed $16 million over each of the next three seasons. This may sound strange, but I found myself rooting against his $17 million option vesting for 2014 from the moment he signed with the Mets over the winter. Now I’m hoping it actually happens. If it does, that means he would have managed to get back on the field and hopefully, continue to be a productive player. What can I say, I’m all about redemption.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.