Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jason Bay might start the season on the DL


Jason Bay
On Tuesday morning, with the team about an hour away from fielding its full lineup including Carlos Beltran for the first time this spring, Jason Bay felt discomfort in his left rib cage during batting practice. Bay departed for an examination in Port St. Lucie, hoping that the injury was not as serious as it initially sounded; rib cage, oblique and intercostal strains can often linger for weeks, meaning that Bay might begin the season on the disabled list.

"They can be extremely nagging," said Terry Collins. "They can take a long time. They can be short, but at this particular time we have to be very, very cautious, because I don't want to lose this guy for a month. If we have to lose him for a week to 10 days, that's a hell of a lot better than losing him for two months."

Even more ominously (for the individual if not the team), backup catcher Ronny Paulino is suffering from stomach and colon issues that might "keep him out for a while," Sandy Alderson said.

If Bay begins the year on the DL, 25-year-old Lucas Duda could make the team as the temporary left fielder. Duda has impressed the team this spring with his development, and the Mets think he can perform more consistently than last season, when he batted .202 in a 26-game callup. Still, with Beltran needing regular rest for his knees, the potential outfield or Duda, Angel Pagan and Willie Harris on some days will not be ideal.

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