Terry Collins floated the idea several weeks ago, but never followed through with batting Jason Bay second in the order behind Jose Reyes.
Theoretically, Bay would get more fastballs with running threat Reyes on first. Batting second snapped David Wright out of funks before, and perhaps it would do the same for Bay.
Obviously, dropping him to sixth didn’t work. He’s still chasing breaking balls away. He’s also not turning on the fastball, and his plate presence is terrible.
Bay’s problems are physical and mental, and there’s no quick fix. Afterall, this has been lingering for two years with no signs of coming out of it.
I don’t believe sending Bay to the minor leagues is the answer, because what good does beating up on those pitchers do? Assuming, of course, he does beat up on them.
Bay needs to work himself out of this by playing, so an extended benching isn’t the answer, either. Hitting second might not work, but it hasn’t been attempted.
I hear and read a lot about trading Bay, but none of that comes from the Mets. It’s more wishful thinking than anything else. Bay’s untradeable for three reasons, beginning with his monstrous contract.
He’s also had an injury history since coming to the Mets and there’s his lack of production. Nobody wants to trade for that baggage, so it is safe to say Bay will be here for the duration of his contract, so get used to him.
There were signs that screamed the Mets shouldn’t have signed him they ignored. As much as the Mets needed offense two winters ago, starting pitching was even more of a premium for them. The Mets preferred Matt Holliday, but weren’t willing to spend that kind of money.
Bay’s value to the Mets is to work himself out of this prolonged funk and become the player projected of him. Maybe hitting second will provide the answer, maybe it won’t.
But, it is worth a try.