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Terry Collins: Jason Bay will “absolutely” be a starter when he returns from DL

May 16, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

Jason Bay AP

Left field fill-in Kirk Nieuwenhuis has played so well that there’s been some speculation about Jason Bay returning from the disabled list as a part-time player, but Mets manager Terry Collins squashed that talk.

Collins told Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News that Bay will “absolutely” be a starter once he’s healthy because “he didn’t come here to be an extra player.”

Bay hasn’t played since April 23 and isn’t yet close to returning from a fractured rib, so it’s a moot point for now and by the time he’s ready to return Nieuwenhuis may have come back down to earth somewhat anyway. So far he’s hitting .294 with a .370 on-base percentage in 35 games.

In fairness to Bay he was fairly productive in 15 games before the injury, posting a .776 OPS that nearly matches Nieuwenhuis’ mark of .782. And of course he’s making $16 million this season with another $16 million due in 2013.

  1. redguy12588 - May 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    The Mets are paying Bay $16M a year?


    • bennyblanco1 - May 17, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Is this really the first time you learned that fact? Or you just wanted to show how funny you think it is?

  2. ezthinking - May 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    and the Red Sox are paying Lackey $16 mil and Crawford $20 mil this season. HAHAHAHAHHAHAH

  3. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 16, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    This should put them over the top

  4. kvschnitz - May 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Easy solution: Sit Andres Torres because he’s a real 4th outfielder.

  5. Spiro Agnew - May 16, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Letting the amount of money a player earns affect your decision to play him is ridiculous.

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