Just as soon as the Mets put Jason Bay (ribs) and Mike Pelfrey (elbow) on the disabled list, the Mets go ahead and win two straight games over the Miami Marlins while also ruining the Jose Reyes homecoming in the process.

Everything is right in the world, correct?

Not so fast.

I’d like to think that the the old saying “You don’t know how much you miss something until it’s gone” may take precedence here.

While, of course, these two players have brutally underachieved and have been whipping boys for several Mets’ fans over the years, they might be missed more than people think.

For the better part of their Met careers, Bay and Pelfrey have been maddeningly inconsistent, while never living up to their full potential or in Bay’s case, more particularly his contract. And that’s what irritates Mets’ fans so much. However, they were off to decent starts this season and you must view things in a vacuum.

Although Pelfrey has not won a game this season, he has kept the team in games and had a 2.29 ERA through 19.2 innings while allowing no home runs and issuing just four walks. As for Bay, yes, he only has a .240 batting average, but his power stroke was coming along –albeit slowly-and he was showing a bit more confidence at the plate before his injury.

Now the Mets will be void of two veteran players who will be replaced by players who don’t offer that much promise.

Scott Hairston, Mike Baxter and Jordany Valdespin will play left field on most occasions and once Andres Torres comes back, Kirk Nieuwenhuis will man left with Torres going back to center. Outside of Nieuwenhuis, are any of these candidates really an improvement over Bay?

Hairston has his usefulness, but is best left as a power bat off the bench. Baxter is nothing more than a role player. Valdespin, who was recently been called up, has some upside, but there will probably be a learning curve when it comes to his game.

With Bay, at least you had a ‘presence’ in the middle of the lineup and he was good for breaking up all the lefties in the middle of the lineup. Also, Bay was vastly underrated for the way he played defense in left. It’s safe to say, that none of his possible replacements can play as good a left as Bay did.

When it comes to Pelfrey, almost of all of us have come to expect what he is: an average pitcher who up until this point has been durable. Pelfrey always ate up a lot of innings and that will be hard to replace.

Pelfrey will now be replaced in the rotation by Chris Schwinden and possibly down the line by Chris Young. Schwinden is a mid-tier prospect with limited promise. In four starts last year, Schwinden went 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA. Schwinden is the “he’ll have to do” choice as neither Matt Harvey nor Jeurys Familia are ready to be called up just yet.

It’s not so much that Bay and Pelfrey will be missed, it’s more about who will be replacing them at this juncture. Fans may soon realize that Bay and Pelfrey at least served a useful purpose for the team.

While the Mets won their first two games without Bay and Pelfrey, we’ll see if they will be missed in the long haul as these next two to three weeks could prove to be a pivotal stretch for the club.

For now, they are not being missed, but if they miss an extended period of time (and Pelfrey visiting Dr. Andrews is never a good thing) Mets’ fans may be singing a different tune come the end of the season.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

6 comments on “As Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey hit the DL, Mets fans say so what?

  • Brian Joura

    I agree with your overall point.

    However, it’s nice to see our injured guys being Torres, Bay, Cedeno and Pelfrey rather than Reyes, Wright, Santana and Davis.

  • Metsense

    Bay is not the future of the Mets and his 16M salary is a poor value. This injury along with the emergence of Nieuwenhuis, gives the Mets the opportunity to begin restricting Bay’s AB’s so that albatross of an option does not kick in 2014. A platoon is on the horizon in which the Mets would get two very different lineup looks. A faster lineup with Kirk/Torres at the top or a power lineup when Bay plays. The added bonus is Bay’s power off the bench. Platooning Bay is the best way to get some value from his 16M and Bay is a pro, a veteran guy you want around on such a young team.
    Pelfry also is not the future of the Mets. Either Harvey or Famila were slated to take his spot in the rotation in 2013. Unfortunately for Mike (and the Mets) it is 2012. His innings are going to be hard to replace but if you keep things in perspective, you only need to replace some very average 2012 expectations and Schwinden now has the opportunity to prove he is a major league fifth starter . This injury is really going to cost Mike because no team is going to match his 2012 salary when he is non tendered by the Mets this winter.
    I see these injuries as an opportunity for some new Mets to be evaluated on a Met team that is in a transition season and achieving beyond expectations.

  • Richard

    Good article. Bay has been a major disappointment, no doubt about it. But I do agree that he was a good fielder in left. And say what you will about the guy, he did try. He always gives it his all. Its not like he’s got his money and he’s just mailing it in. As for Pelf. HUGE loss. We Mets fans always wanted him to be the #1 or 2 guy because he’d show that potential, but we never appreciated what he was: a solid (if somewhat inconsistant) back end of the rotation, innings eater. Every staff needs a fourth starter and now we are without one. Its too bad, and its gonna hurt the Mets all season. Maybe it’ll help us appreciate them a little more. And maybe, just maybe, when they return, we’ll root FOR them, rather than look to boo their failures.

  • Chris

    These are opportune times. I never relish in seeing a member of the Mets on DL (really anyone), but so far the experiment has turned up some kids that want to make the bigs. If Bay and Pelf are out of pocket for a long stretch, then we take a new look at things. Bay has had an ok couple weeks, but really, is he that good we’d miss him? I really doubt it. Pelf’s inconsistency is a huge detriment (which Pelf shows up today?) no matteer how many innings he eats up. The endless walks, hits, behind in the count places a lot of stress all around the diamond and a dire need to score runs…I dont see that as great.

    So what this exercise will likely expose is the painfully obvious. We dont have 40 guys that can do this, and I dont think we even have 25. There is a lot to like about the Mets, but scratch a little deeper and some guy named Lutz ends up in the batters box!

    I still like where we are in April!


  • Charlie Hangley

    If Harvey consistently pitches like he did yesterday, we’ll see him in Queens before June is done.

  • […] is this what you envisioned when Pelfrey was lost for the season? Like I said last week, you probably don’t how much you miss something until it’s […]

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