By Ed Coleman
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A refreshed and in-shape Jason Bay arrived at Mets camp on Thursday, bound and determined to show the fans of New York that the last two disappointing seasons for him have been an aberration.
So, what the heck happened to him, particularly this past year?
Bay spent a lot of time tinkering with his stance and swing last season, something he vowed not to repeat this time around – so what did he do to correct things this offseason?
Bay was asked whether he thought the new dimensions at the revamped Citi Field will aid the Mets’ offense.
He was a rising star in Pittsburgh, a full-fledged star in Boston when he was knocking balls over Fenway’s Green Monster. Bay has naturally been a pull hitter, something he plans to revisit.
Manager Terry Collins watched Jenrry Mejia throw his first bullpen off the mound on Thursday since undergoing Tommy John surgery and was impressed with the shortened effort. He also enjoyed observing first-round draft pick Matt Harvey’s session as well – Collins says the kid has the stuff to succeed.
Harvey has a great temperament and a personality that will enable him to make a quick transition to the major leagues.
Collins’ lineup is already pretty much set for the season, and he believes that his team will be sound offensively and score some runs, especially the core middle with David Wright, Ike Davis, Bay and Lucas Duda hitting 3 through 6.
Another successful bullpen for Johan Santana, this one a little bit better and lengthier (32 pitches) than the last one on Tuesday.
And what is next for the steadily progressing ace of the Mets’ pitching staff?
There will be a memorial service for the late Gary Carter on Friday night in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Many of his 1986 teammates, as well as current members of the Mets and front-office staff, will be in attendance to honor and pay tribute to the Hall-of-Fame catcher.
You can watch the service online at CBSNewYork.com/garycarter.
Do you expect a bounce-back season from Bay? Sound off below…