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Monday, July 25, 2011

Megdal: Play Bay Everyday, Though Play in Disarray, Due to Pay, Resume

Deal. May I.

Increasingly, it has become fashionable to ask the question, in columns and on Twitter, “How long can the Mets go on playing Jason Bay on a regular basis?”

The answer, of course, is: for the rest of the 2011 season, at least.

As usual, the question is usually framed in a binary fashion: Bay, or no Bay? From that perspective, the answer seems easy. Bay has been just awful this year, with a .632 OPS in 307 plate appearances. That would be terrible at any position, but particularly while playing mediocre-at-best defense in left field, it is utterly terrible.

So the visceral relief at not having to watch Jason Bay make outs, while angrily contemplating the huge amount of money owed to Bay through the end of 2013, seems to make the decision an easy one. Put Bay on an ice floe and be done with it. Case closed, right?

Well, no. The Mets cannot simply fail to field a left fielder. And if the focus is on 2012 and beyond, Bay is by far the best choice to be playing left field regularly for the Mets from here on out.

Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:14 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, mets, sabermetrics

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   1. steagles Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#3885053)
the organization is far from barren right now. i mean there's no top 25 talent, but vaughn could be a player, den-dekker could be a player, dykstra could be a player, duda, evans, nieuwenhuis, martinez. and all of that talent (sans vaughn, at least for the moment) is in AA and AAA.

there are gonna be options over the next year for you people. even when you lose beltran, wright, and reyes, you're gonna get talent back. in reyes's case, you'll get a pair of draft picks, in beltran's a B/C prospect, and in wright's, well, you'll have that to look forward to next year.

i'm sure that by the time the phillies stranglehold on the NL east subsides around 2027, you'll be in prime position to take the reigns and run.
   2. Elvis Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:05 PM (#3885087)
Until they trade Beltran, Duda should be starting over Bay. Once Beltran is dealt, assuming they don't get a ML OF back in return - call up Evans and have him play. That's right, as horrible as Nick Evans has been, and he's been designated for assignment at least three times, he's better than Bay at this point. Evans has a .676 OPS in 2011 while Bay's sits at .632

And Evans has that with a .188 BABIP, so it's realistic to think he would do better with regular playing time. Bay's been this bad since the end of May in 2010. From 5/28 to his season ended, Bay was .220/.308/.347 in 2010 and this year he’s at .228/.314/.318. That's 505 PA of an OPS in the .640 range
   3. Walt Davis Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:43 PM (#3885110)
I'll agree with Howard here. In the absence of a genuinely good option for LF, you keep playing Bay hoping that somehow he snaps out of it. I know he looks to be way over the cliff but in the absence of good alternatives, your best bet is to hope he bounces back. So, yes, he's a sunk cost and you don't let him stand in the way of genuinely improving your team. But flushing millions down the drain just to improve by .2 wins ... in that scenario, you're pot committed and just ride it out.
   4. Dave Spiwak Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#3885118)
Nay to what you say. Play Bay everyday? No way. But hey, Megdal: go away.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3885142)
"Hey, why don't I just go eat some hay, make things out of clay, lay by the bay? I just may! What'd ya say?"
   6. Something Other Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:37 AM (#3885200)
i'm sure that by the time the phillies stranglehold on the NL east subsides around 2027, you'll be in prime position to take the reigns and run.
Hey #######, did you accidentally miss clicking the link to yahoo sports?
   7. Something Other Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:46 AM (#3885210)
I have to disagree with Walt. There's every reason to play Lucas Duda, who is finally hitting. Since June 21st Duda's been a monster, at .355/.430/.579/1.009. After his wrist healed Duda's minor league numbers were consistent with a guy who can put up very strong numbers in the major leagues. His last month at the plate is what he can do when he's hot; it's not a fluke, it's a logical consequence. Duda has a good chance at being the every day LFer on the next Mets team with a shot at the wild card--in 2014, give or take a year. Bay, on the other hand, in 2014 has an excellent chance to be 35.

Besides, it's never to early to start killing one of Minaya's vesting options.
   8. Darren Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:34 AM (#3885335)
Are you guys talking about Jay Ray Bay?
   9. Darren Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:35 AM (#3885336)
They should trade him to the Tamp Bay Rays. or the Jays.
   10. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:00 AM (#3885344)
Are you guys talking about Jay Ray Bay?


You can call him Jay... or you can call him Bay...
   11. Sam M. Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:59 AM (#3885389)
There's every reason to play Lucas Duda, who is finally hitting.

The problem with Duda, IMHO, is that he is almost certainly incapable of playing the OF at an acceptable level of major league competence. He was certainly god-awful at it last year, and every scouting report on his minor league play agrees that he sucks. BA puts it this way: "he's a lumbering runner with below-average range and arm strength in left field." Now, if he were really a 1.000 OPS hitter, then screw the defense; you live with it. But he isn't, of that I'm pretty confident.

Duda is either your first baseman, or he's your power pinch hitter and fill-in in LF/1B. He could do that job very well. A smart team with a need at 1B could do a lot worse than trade for him, if the Mets believe Ike Davis is better (which is certainly my view). But Duda's not a full-time outfielder, especially not in a spacious park like Citifield. In fact, I'm almost certain right now that -- if Davis is 100% healthy next year and you really were determined to play both of them, the best defensive alignment would be Davis in LF and Duda at 1B. That's how bad I think Duda is in the OF.
   12. cabintwelve Posted: July 26, 2011 at 05:13 AM (#3885404)
Too many commas.
   13. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 05:22 AM (#3885431)
The problem with Duda is that he doesn't go by "Lu".
   14. thetailor Posted: July 26, 2011 at 06:35 AM (#3885525)
Unfortunately, he's right I think.

Though I have to say -- although it's a year late -- it looks like Sam's predictions about Murphy may be more accurate than we thought! The kid's a hitter.
   15.  Hey Gurl Posted: July 26, 2011 at 06:40 AM (#3885527)
So I guess Hundley's record is safe for the time being.
   16. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 26, 2011 at 07:34 AM (#3885538)
The problem with Duda, IMHO, is that he is almost certainly incapable of playing the OF at an acceptable level of major league competence.

If he's going to start for the Mets next year it's going to be in the OF, might as well see how bad he is this year when they aren't going anywhere. When Beltran is traded someone needs to stand out there.
   17. Something Other Posted: July 26, 2011 at 07:52 AM (#3885540)
Interesting. TZ has Bay +1 in 2011, UZR has him +11/150 in LF in 2011.

Just sayin'.
   18. steagles Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:36 AM (#3885549)
i'm sure that by the time the phillies stranglehold on the NL east subsides around 2027, you'll be in prime position to take the reigns and run.


Hey #######, did you accidentally miss clicking the link to yahoo sports?
just having some fun.
Duda is either your first baseman, or he's your power pinch hitter and fill-in in LF/1B. He could do that job very well. A smart team with a need at 1B could do a lot worse than trade for him, if the Mets believe Ike Davis is better (which is certainly my view).
doesn't ike davis have a really, really good arm? what's stopping the mets from slotting him in the corner outfield and trying to fit one more hitter in the lineup at 1B?
   19. bobm Posted: July 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM (#3885559)
[7] Besides, it's never to early to start killing one of Minaya's vesting options.

First K-Rod, now Bay. How many of these shtt-filled Easter eggs did Omar leave behind for us to step on?

[Bay salary 20]14:$17M club option ($3M buyout)
2014 option guaranteed with 600 PAs in 2013 or 500 PAs in both 2012, 2013
full no-trade clause


Source: http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2004/12/new-york-mets.html
   20. Sam M. Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#3885596)
As for Murphy, he's sitting at an .809 OPS and 125 OPS+. I could look at these numbers and say something about my earlier predictions and the reactions thereto. But realizing that he could just as easily have a Jason Bay-like next two months -- because after all, anyone can have a bad couple of months -- I'm just gonna say he's been great and I hope they can find a defensive position he can call home. If not, then the Mets could do a lot worse than have a guy who hits like this getting 400 ABs playing several different positions.
   21. Eddie Kranepool Society Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:17 PM (#3885603)
Rumor around Flushing is Sandy Alderson is ready to ICE Jason Bay back to Canada
   22. zack Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#3885609)
Maybe Sandy will have a mid-90's ecstacy flashback and play all these ok-hitters out of position. All we need is 3 big time stud starting pitchers and...dynasty!
   23. Something Other Posted: July 27, 2011 at 09:10 AM (#3886306)
Duda is either your first baseman, or he's your power pinch hitter and fill-in in LF/1B. He could do that job very well. A smart team with a need at 1B could do a lot worse than trade for him, if the Mets believe Ike Davis is better (which is certainly my view).

doesn't ike davis have a really, really good arm? what's stopping the mets from slotting him in the corner outfield and trying to fit one more hitter in the lineup at 1B?
I dunno about this. Maybe it's the ongoing madness that was the Mets FO for a couple of decades, doing things like moving a young, talented future All-Star off of 2b for, at best, the mediocrity that was KazMat. Or playing the immobile Todd Hundley in the OF. Or Mike Piazza at 1B, an experiment even a mother couldn't love. Or hoping Gregg Jeffries could figure out how to play 2B by watching. I suppose a lot of teams have their horror stories, but the Mets just seemed to be particularly, frighteningly creative in this regard. With that, if Davis's bat in the first part of the season was for real, you're talking about moving a 900 OPS and an above average glove at first (a GG talent if UZR was accurate) into the OF, where Davis hs never played except in an emergency (2 games in the minors, never in the majors), in order to give Lucas Duda-- who never impressed anyone at 1B, and who has hit well in the majors for all of one month--maybe, just maybe, a place to play.

Davis's injury was severe, and he's only just this season started to put it together at the plate, such that he could be an all-star talent for the Mets for the next four or five years. I'd hate to see the Mets risk that for Duda, who isn't going to be much better at 1b than he is in LF. Rather than try what seems like a pretty desperate experiment, I'd much, much rather the Mets trade Duda to an AL team where he can play his real position, DH, in return for a comparable talent the Mets have a genuine need for.

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