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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Meet the Mess: Jason Bay Headed to the DL with a Broken Rib

The Mets on Tuesday placed Jason Bay on the 15-day disabled list with a non-displaced fracture of a left rib, the result of a diving catch attempt in the second game of Monday's doubleheader against the Giants.

Bay, 33, left the game in the eighth inning after feeling soreness in his rib cage. X-rays taken during the game were negative, but an MRI the Tuesday morning at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan revealed the injury. The team has not announced a timetable for his return.

To replace Bay, the Mets recalled third baseman Zach Lutz from Triple-A Buffalo, where he was hitting .333 with three home runs in 19 games. Mike Baxter and Scott Hairston figure to see increased playing time in Bay's absence, while Lutz should see time as a right-handed-hitting infield reserve.

The injury is the latest in a string of them for Bay since joining the Mets. The left fielder suffered a concussion crashing into Dodger Stadium's outfield fence in July 2010, then strained his left intercostal muscle last year and began the season on the DL.

His latest injury occurred while chasing down Gregor Blanco's double in the fourth inning Monday. Launching into a backward dive in an attempt to catch the ball on the fly, Bay tipped it with his glove before landing on his chest, appearing to plant his face in the turf. He needed a moment to collect himself after the play, but stayed in the game for another four innings.

Bay was batting .240 with three home runs in 50 at-bats prior to his injury, but .290 with all three of those home runs since April 13.

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