UPDATE: OK, maybe Jason Bay isn't done for the year

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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.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.