A bit of welcome news here from Dan Martin of the New York Post.
Mets outfielder Jason Bay, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since the start of the regular season, is scheduled to take live batting practice Sunday afternoon for the first time since suffering a late-spring intercostal muscle strain.
Bay has been working out down at the Mets’ spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida for the past week. He took hacks in a batting cage Saturday and also ran through some drills.
“He hit in the cage, soft tossed and hit off a tee,” manager Terry Collins said Saturday afternoon. “[On Sunday], he’ll take batting practice off one of the coaches. It’s step two of the process.”
The Mets are hoping that Bay will be ready to return to the major leagues within the next 10 days. He batted .333 with a .404 on-base percentage, four home runs and 10 RBI across 53 at-bats this spring.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.