As if his tenure with the Mets hasn’t been rough enough, Terry Collins, according to Andy Martino of the Daily News, is toying with the idea of putting Jason Bay in center field for the 2012 season.

Well, that has disaster written all over it doesn’t it?

While Jason Bay is a good defensive left fielder, he is not physically and-you can also argue- emotionally equipped to handle such a drastic move.

I guess the idea is to get solid power numbers from your center fielder and upgrade offensively at the corner outfield positions with more productive hitters or ‘sluggers.’ That’s an asinine and illogical approach if there ever was one.

And what about Angel Pagan? I know some people are down on him amidst rumors that he might be non-tendered in the offseason, but he is slowly but surely coming out of his own funk. When healthy, and that appears to be the case right now, Pagan is a serviceable center fielder

Make no mistake, Bay’s contract is an albatross. The Mets will just to have to suck it up and play Bay in left field or at the very least platoon him.

I suppose this tactic was maybe used as motivation. It just so happens after this proposal that Bay had one of his best games in weeks in last night’s 3-2 win over the Marlins. Bay, who was mired in a brutal 2-45 slump prior to Wednesday’s games, went 3-4 with a double and an RBI. But, just how many more motivational tactics does Collins have up his sleeve before he’s forced to deal with the cold harsh reality that Bay is unlikely to succeed in Queens? Collins probably thought along the same lines when he brought up the terrible idea of putting Mike Pelfrey in the closer’s role next year.

I shouldn’t have to rehash the disappointing season (or career with the Mets for that matter) Bay is having. As of Thursday, Bay is batting .234 with only nine home runs and 44 RBI’s. Bay has been a colossal bust and switching positions will not turn his fortunes around. It could conceivably make things worse.

Do we need to be reminded again just how important defense is at Citi Field, and particularly how much ground the center fielder needs to cover? This is where we collectively undervalue Pagan.

I guess this suggestion is a way to get Daniel Murphy on the field somewhere, presumably in left field. It’s assumed that when Ike Davis comes back healthy that he’ll be back at first with the emerging Lucas Duda entrenched in right field. I’m all for getting Murphy in the lineup, but we shouldn’t compromise the fielding of this unit by putting Murphy in left field when he has already shown he can’t reliably handle the job.

The only way to get any positive production out of Bay is to straight up platoon him with a decent lefty slugger. Remember, vs. lefties, Bay is batting .293 this year with three home runs and 11 RBI’s in 92 at-bats. Conversely, Bay is batting a miserable .208 in 284 at-bats vs. righties.

It really is sad that this is the role that Bay may be reduced to. However, what would be sadder would be putting Bay in center field.

2 comments on “Jason Bay in CF has failure written all over it

  • Metsense

    In Buffalo on Wednesday Alderson is quoted as saying a payroll of 100-110 M is possible in 2012. Hence, this team can’t “afford” Pagan, hence they float Bay in center. As a fan I am outraged that after suffering since 2007 because of some ludicrous mismanagement that I’m told we can’t spend competitively in the future. (Met Blog ESPN).
    Of course Bay in center is ludicrous. He is a 16M platoon player (or bench player) until he proves different.

  • Tommy2cat

    The Mets need to make a run at Baltimore’s Adam Jones in order to address a substandard outfield troupe. A combination of Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy (who is built for the AL) & one of Dillon Gee or Mike Pelfrey would be a good start. For pitchers, I can see Baltimore insisting on one of Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler or Jeurys Familia. The Met Front Office would need to review a trade of any one of these prospects very carefully from every angle.

    The benefit of adding Adam Jones via trade is enormous. Our new core would consist of Wright, Reyes, Jones & Duda, perhaps. Every ballplayer is still in their 20’s. I can see this group gelling into a Big Blue & Orange Machine.

    Here’s the line-up:

    ss – Reyes
    2b – Tejada/Havens/Turner
    cf – Jones
    rf – Duda
    3b – Wright
    lf – Pagan/Bay
    1b – Evans
    c – Thole/Paulino
    Pitcher

    Its a strong & young line-up with speed and power throughout. Every ballplayer, except Bay & Paulino, are still in their 20’s.

    Its not a “final position” on my part by any strectch, but if the team is going to contemplate replacing Pagan in centerfield, then they should expand their analysis to importing top-drawer talent from our existing assets.

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