By Matt Snyder
Though the move isn't technically official, the Mets are going to put Jason Bay on the disabled list for the beginning of the 2011 season. They are waiting until Thursday before finalizing the move, but multiple reports already have Bay headed to the 15-day disabled list and Lucas Duda joining the Mets as Bay's replacement in left field.
"I haven't had a chance to talk directly with Jason myself," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "... I wouldn't say that we're unsure that we're going to DL him. We've got sort of a tentative direction that we're going to take. But I really don't want to discuss it until I've had a chance to talk to Jason." (ESPN New York )
Nick Evans was also in the mix to take over left field in Bay's absence, but he is headed to Triple-A Buffalo.
Bay will be eligible to come off the disabled list April 9, due to being able to backdate the move to his last spring appearance, which was last Thursday.
Duda, 25, seems eager to step into the role, though he's not a big fan of the circumstances.
"It's unfortunate that Jason hurt his rib cage," Duda told ESPN New York. "Obviously you don't want to see that happen. He's a great ballplayer and even a better guy, so you hate to see that. I'm going to go out there and try to help the team any way I can until Jason gets healthy."
Duda hit .202 with a .678 OPS last season in his 92 plate appearances, but that was after a brutal start. He was 16 for his last 51 (.314) with four home runs and 12 RBI. Prior to his promotion, he hit .314 with 17 home runs and a .999 OPS in 70 Triple-A games. Duda hit .254 with a pair of bombs and six RBI this spring. His OPS was .723 in 78 plate appearances.
Since signing a lucrative contract with the Mets last offseason, Bay played just 95 games last year, missing a significant chunk of the season due to lingering effects of a concussion. His on-field stint was disappointing as well, as he was hitting .259 with six home runs and 47 RBI -- this coming off a season where he had 36 homers and 119 RBI.
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