Although Jordany Valdespin started in Bay's spot on Wednesday, that decision was a product of a more favorable matchup against right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who has struggled recently against left-handed hitters.
"It's pretty hard to [say to] him, 'Hey, look, your production has got to be picked up' when you're not running him out there all the time," Collins said. "Today, with Strasburg, with the fact that he hasn't had a lot of at-bats lately, it's a tough matchup, but we'll have a lot better matchups for him this weekend."
Collins intends to play the right-handed-hitting Bay consistently during the upcoming 11-game road trip so he can get him enough at-bats to evaluate how he's swinging. Entering Wednesday's game, Bay had 99 sporadic at-bats over the course of this season, which Collins believes is not enough time to make judgments.
"We are well aware how Jason has performed over the last two years due to his concussions, shoulder problems and the other issues that he's had -- broken rib," Collins said. "But when you're looking at a guy who has really had a tough time getting consistent playing time, it's really tough to evaluate."
As of Wednesday, Bay is hitting .182 with five home runs and eight RBIs, and has made two trips to the disabled list in what has been a disappointing start to 2012.