No official move has been made yet, but Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Jason Bay “will almost certainly” begin the season on the disabled list with an intercostal strain in his left rib cage.
Bay flew back to New York to have the injury examined by doctors today and would be eligible to come off the disabled list as soon as April 9 thanks to the stint being backdated.
In the meantime Lucas Duda is expected to replace Bay on the roster and could split time with Scott Hairston in left field.
Duda entered last season as largely an unknown prospect, but the former seventh-round pick hit .304 with 23 homers, 40 doubles, and a .967 OPS in 115 games between Double-A and Triple-A before making his big-league debut in September. He bats left-handed while Hairston swings right-handed, so they could form a natural platoon.