Mets may give some of Bay's at-bats to Hairston

Mets may give some of Bay's at-bats to Hairston

Mets may give some of Bay's at-bats to Hairston
NEW YORK -- During Sunday's loss to the Phillies, the Mets' Jason Bay went 0-for-4 with a walk, left five runners on base, dropped a fly ball and was booed by the fans at Citi Field.

Manager Terry Collins implied after the game that the struggling $66-million man could lose some of his playing time to the streaking Scott Hairston.

"When you saw Jason last week swing the bat, you thought he was coming around, you thought he was going to start carrying you like he's capable of doing," Collins said when asked whether he might start giving some of Bay's at-bats to Hairston. "I'm going to talk with him tomorrow and see how he's doing, see where's at. Scott Hairston's swinging the bat very, very well. The other thing, we've got to get Carlos [Beltran] back in the lineup. That might counteract some things."

Bay caught fire and seemed to be working his way out of a season-long slump during a road trip at the end of June, but he is batting just .091 in his past six games, with a .256 on-base percentage. By contrast, Hairston is batting .500, with a .500 on-base percentage in limited playing time over that stretch.

Hairston has had less than a quarter of Bay's plate appearances this season, but coming into Sunday, his on-base percentage was marginally better (.333 to Bay's .324) and his slugging percentage was far superior (.517 to Bay's .335).

Despite Hairston's strong play of late, Bay says he's not worrying about how he stacks up against his teammates.

"It's not my job," Bay said. "I show up -- if I'm in the lineup, I'm in the lineup. If I'm not, that's not my decision to make. I kind of felt like before the break started, things started going well. Obviously I haven't carried that momentum, but I'm still going out there trying to get that momentum that I had."

Bay said that his success before the break gives him encouragement that he is making progress at the plate, even if that progress isn't showing up in the box score. He added that it's important for him not to get caught up in what is being said about him so he can focus on his performance.

"Imagine how frustrated the fans are -- you think that I enjoy it?" Bay said. "... I'm more frustrated than anybody. But I've got to come back and do it every single day, and I can't get too caught up in the frustration."

Regardless of what Collins decides, Hairston echoed Bay in saying it is best for himself and the team to stay focused on the task at hand.

"I have a role, and that's coming off the bench right now," Hairston said. "I'm just trying to do the best that I can in that situation. It's not going to help thinking, 'Oh, I should be playing more.' I think I'm so into the role that I am in now that I'm really not thinking about anything outside of that."