Coutinho: The New Jason Bay
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By Rich Coutinho
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Jason Bay spent most of last season tinkering with his stance and taking every opinion from everybody about his struggles to heart. In the end, Jason has realized he has to be Jason Bay.
“I am a pull hitter and that is what I am. I spent so much time tinkering with things using the whole field but in the final analysis I am a pull hitter”, says Bay who met with the media this morning in Port St. Lucie.
Listen: Jason Bay talks to the media
That of course means Bay will be trying to pull the ball at Citi Field — which will of course have a different look. “You can do all the analysis of how many homers I would have had, but to tell you the truth, I am not thinking about it a lot. Sure, it could help me and other guys in the lineup but what I need to do is replicate what I did late last year. By that, I mean hit the ball hard–don’t tinker so much and the rest will take care of itself”, says the Mets leftfielder.
Despite Bay downplaying the dimensions of Citi Field, my feeling is will have a huge impact on both him and David Wright and of course Ike Davis and Lucas Duda as well. For Bay, it might give Mets fans a chance to see the real Jason Bay. Look at the back of his baseball card — before he got here, Bay was an RBI machine and that has always concerned me more than the lack of homers. To his credit, he hustled every step of the way playing better defense than anyone thought he would. But the Mets got him for his bat and that is the element of his game Mets fans have not seen yet.
Another thing Bay talked about was expectations — or more properly put the lack of expectations — for the Mets. “I know we lost Jose”, says Bay, “and the NL East teams all got stronger. Clearly, we are not the favorite in this division but we have good players and I think Ike, David, and Murphy could all be quality bats and if that occurs we could surprise some people.”
Add in a good season from Jason Bay and the continued development of Lucas Duda and you might have the makings of a pretty good lineup. And that would go a long way towards making the Mets a competitive team.
Any predictions for Jason Bay’s season? Leave them below.