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Jason Bay Could Start Season On Disabled List

The Mets could have not one, but two former Pirates start the season on the disabled list. Outfielder Jason Bay was a scratch from a Mets' Spring Training game today with a strained intercostal muscle, while catcher Ronny Paulino may miss time with a stomach/colon issue. Pirates fans might not much care about Paulino, who was shipped out of town after he completely forgot how to catch.

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Jason Bay is a different story. The Pirates got little when they traded him to the Dodgers, with three of the four players they acquired (Andy LaRoche, Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen) already off the 40-man roster. But at least the Bucs didn't sign Bay to an extension. He signed a giant contract with the Mets, and his first season with them last year was marred by injuries and subpar performance. He seems to be entering that stage of his career where staying healthy will be a major problem, and it seems unlikely that he'll return to his Pirates peak for any sustained period of time. A few years ago I repeatedly compared Bay to former Tigers outfielder Bobby Higginson, whose early-career success earned him a big contract that quickly became a problem as injuries and ineffectiveness consumed him. That comparison looks even better after Bay's first year in New York, I think.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.