Bay center field dabbling a 'possibility'

May, 14, 2011
5/14/11
1:32
PM ET

Jason Bay


Left Field
New York Mets

Profile


2011 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
18 2 6 10 .299 .217
Jason Bay has made 37 career major league starts in center field, although none since 2005 with Pittsburgh. That may change in the near future.

Terry Collins acknowledged he might station Bay in center field for an occasional game while Angel Pagan remains on the disabled list in order to get Fernando Martinez a start while keeping Bay and Carlos Beltran's bats in the lineup.

"He would do it in a second," Collins said about Bay in center field. "There's a possibility of that happening. I don't know when that's going to be, but I think we certainly need to consider a move like that once in a while just to get [Martinez] into games."

Martinez actually has played the bulk of his minor league career in center field (231 games, versus 78 in right field and 33 in left field). But Collins noted the 22-year-old Martinez has an arthritic right knee, even comparing it to Beltran's degenerative situation, even though Beltran is 11 years older. So Collins does not want to play Martinez in center field.

Fernando Martinez


Right Field
New York Mets

Profile


2011 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
2 1 2 1 .500 .500
"At his age, he's got a similar leg to what Carlos has got," Collins said. "It's not that you worry about him pulling a muscle or something. It's just the wear and tear causes this guy to miss time. We want to try to avoid that if we can. ... There's no question he's going to have to deal with it his whole career. There's nothing you can do anymore. I mean, the wonders of modern medicine certainly might come up with something soon to relieve the issues of the arthritis that has set in there at a young age. But he's just going to have to deal with some discomfort, as Carlos does on a daily basis."

As for using Beltran for a spot start in center field rather than Bay, Collins seems to be softening on his stance of right field only.

"If it's a one-game thing, he might be open to that," Collins said. "I had not talked to him about it."

When the two had spoken in spring training, Collins resolved not to put Beltran in center field for a two-week stint or more if Pagan landed on the DL.

"Again, I think it's unfair. He's very, very comfortable right now in right field," Collins said. "I think the fact that he's out there [in right field] is what's kept him in the lineup this much. I talk to this guy every day. So if that's what we think is the best move, I know one thing: Carlos Beltran will be open to anything he can to do to help this club. He's done it so far. He won't change now."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
13 4.14 136 182
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .296
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 74
OPSL. Duda .817
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173