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Jason Bay volunteers to play center field for Mets

Mar 21, 2012, 5:56 PM EDT

Jason Bay Getty Images

With Andres Torres (calf) joining Scott Hairston (oblique) on the sidelines, Jason Bay volunteered to take over in center field for the Mets.

Torres is still hopeful of being ready for Opening Day, but Hairston is probably DL bound. The Mets’ third-best option in center field, prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis, is also nursing an oblique strain.

That leaves the Mets with Jason Bay, fellow corner outfielder Mike Baxter, pitcher-turner-right fielder Adam Loewen and second baseman Jordany Valdespin as their center field options at the moment.

And none of those are ideal. Bay, who lost a step or two due to knee woes, last played center with the Pirates in 2005. Baxter played 43 games there in the minors, but two-thirds of those were in A ball in 2006-07. Loewen played 16 games in center in Triple-A last year and made errors on three of his 40 chances (good for a .925 fielding percentage). Valdespin has made one outfield appearance his entire pro career, that coming in the Dominican Summer League in 2007.

For what it’s worth, Baxter got the start in center in Wednesday’s exhibition game. Don’t be surprised if the Mets pick up another outfielder on waivers at some point within the next couple of weeks.

  1. aronmantoo - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    I’d rather he volunteer to hit

  2. randygnyc - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Why not tebow?

  3. SmackSaw - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    What?!? The Mets have NOBODY in the system that can reasonably defend in CF? Bay has all the mobility of a telephone pole. I know Cesar Puello is young, but c’mon, he’ll bust his ass and chase down fly balls.

  4. mgflolox - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Oh hell, I’ll do it.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      Hey! I already called it.

  5. gabrielthursday - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    3 errors 40 chances aren’t anything near a sufficient sample size to make any conclusions about Loewen’s defence. He has the footspeed, arm and reads to be respectable in CF. He needs more reps in centre, but should be fine there.

  6. karaterobot - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Similarly, Michael Bay has volunteered to ruin my childhood.

  7. cool10857 - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    The Mets just plain suck…

  8. paperlions - Mar 22, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    This isn’t really any worse an idea than Cabrera playing 3B. It is harder to purposefully take advantage of a bad CF. Smart teams will be laying down bunts to make Cabrera play in on the grass (and may even lay them down then), which would be like hitting with a statue playing 3B (the ball is either a hit, or it hits the statue).

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