The Jason Bay Era Keeps Getting Better

Bay could be headed to disabled list once again

Carlos Beltran played his first game of the spring on Tuesday so, naturally, another Mets regular had to take his spot in the trainer's room.

Unsurprisingly, that player is Jason Bay. The outfielder has a strained rib cage, knocking him out of Tuesday's game and possibly sending him to the disabled list.

That feels very reminiscent of last season when spring training ended with Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy heading to the disabled list. There was also Francisco Rodriguez's last-minute trip to Venezuela to deal with family issues to make Opening Day eve a little bit less enjoyable than it should have been.

And, of course, we won't know until Wednesday just how Beltran feels after playing two games in two days. For some reason, it feels kinda tough to fully believe that he'll come through this without reporting any issues.

Even after all of the obstacles and embarassment that the Mets have dealt with during the long offseason, they deserve a chance to enjoy, at the very least, Opening Day without any black clouds gathering over their heads.  

Unfortunately, it is also a reminder of just how hard it is going to be for the Mets to compete this season. Anytime you try and come up with an argument for why the Mets are going to be better than expected this season, the health of the team -- especially Johan Santana -- comes back to play the gravity dragging you back down to the planet.

On top of that, any contention dreams featured a Bay rebound playing a major role. That rebound could still happen, obviously, but this probably isn't the best hour to wave that banner.

Bay needs a bit more medical examination and consultation before deciding whether or not he's heading off the active roster. The lessons of the last few seasons should make that decision easier, though.

If there's any doubt about Bay or if he's anything less than 100 percent, he should go on the DL until the smoke clears. If watching Beltran, Reyes, Ryan Church and Bay himself over the last few years has shown us anything, it has shown us that injuries can linger for a very long time when you don't get overly protective from day one.

Mets Fever: Just when you've caught it, you wind up in the hospital.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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