Jason Bay could start the 2011 season where he ended the 2010 campaign — on the disabled list. Bay was scratched from Tuesday’s spring training game with a strained muscle in his rib cage. GM Sandy Alderson said he would probably wait until just before the Thursday 11am deadline to set his roster before deciding what to do with Bay.
If Bay is out, Lucas Duda could be the starting left fielder. Or Nick Evans could get the spot, provided he clears waivers. It not known yet if he has cleared.
But Pat Misch has cleared waivers, and has 72 hours to decide whether to accept an assignment to Triple-A Buffalo. I’m glad Misch cleared. I think he is good and has not really been given a chance to show what he can do. I predict we will be seeing a lot of him this season is he stays with the Mets.
In other roster moves, Blaine Boyer made the bullpen, Manny Acosta was designated for assignment, and the Mets have asked Jason Isringhausen to report to extended spring training to make sure his elbow is all right. No word yet on whether he will report.
Catcher Ronny Paulino could also head to the DL with a stomach/colon issue that was revealed in a blood test. So far his Mets career is not going particularly well — he was late for spring training because of visa issues, and he will miss the first eight games anyway to finish off a steroid suspension.
In a curious move, the Mets traded reliever Eddie Kunz to the Padres for first baseman Allan Dykstra (no relation to Lenny or his son Cutter, who was also traded a couple of days ago). At one point Kunz was being touted as the closer of the future. But apparently he regressed last year and the Mets have given up in him. The Mets once gave up on another closer and sent him to San Diego. His name was Heath Bell. Just saying.
But the big news is Bay. The Mets need a big year from Bay if they have any illusions of contending, or even finishing at .500. Let’s hope this is not something that will linger throughout the year.