I am not a worrier by nature. I always say, “Don’t worry. Things will work out just fine.” And usually, things do. But sometimes things don’t. For example, last year at this time, we were saying about David Wright: “Don’t worry. Things will work out just fine.” Well, things didn’t — he ended the year with like 2 homers and 12 RBIs.
Now we are saying the same thing about Johan Santana and Jason Bay. I do think things will work out for both of them this season, but maybe they won’t. Is now the time to start worrying?
Santana is a great pitcher who is tough enough to get through a game without his “A” stuff. He’s had to do that more and more this season. His velocity is down dramatically. His fastball barely reaches 90. That leaves his off-speed stuff just a few miles per hour slower than his fastball. That’s no way to fool hitters.
The Mets say Santana is still recovering from last year’s elbow surgery. Perhaps that is the case. But perhaps it’s not. Let’s hope it is, because Santana is signed through 2013 at nearly $25 million per season (and a buyout of $5.5 million if the Mets don’t pick up his 2014 option). That’s a large chunk of team salary to a pitcher who can’t break 90 on the radar gun. But again, I’m not worried. I think Santana will be fine.
Now to Bay. Not withstanding his two homers in Puerto Rico Monday night, should we be worrying about him? Bay has six home runs and 34 RBIs so far this season. That projects to 13 homers and 74 RBIs. That’s very 2009 David Wright. Not good for a guy making $16 million per year, a guy who was supposed to provide power in the middle of the lineup who was penciled in for 30 homers and 100 RBIs — at a minimum.
As Ralph Kiner pointed out during Sunday’s game, Bay is just not getting the ball in the air. That’s a problem. Bay has also fallen victim to Citi Field and its generous proportions. Just last week he hit two balls in the same game that would have been out of most stadiums, and I can remember him hitting that stupid tall wall several times already this season.
But that’s no excuse for Bay not hitting on the road (didn’t we say the same thing about Wright last season?). Bay is known as a streaky hitter, so I think he’ll get on a hot streak very soon and end the season with 20+ homers and close to 100 RBIs.
I’m not worried. Although maybe I should be.