Jason Bay: Why the Left Fielder Should No Longer Be a Starter

Billy Dunn@https://twitter.com/#!/TheBilly_DunnContributor IMarch 2, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17:  Jason Bay #44 of the New York Mets reacts after grounding out with a man on second against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 17, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After two dismal years, it is time that the Jason Bay signing with the New York Mets be dubbed a total failure.

Prior to his stint with the Mets, Bay enjoyed many successful years as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox. He frequently hit in the .280 range with 20 plus home runs, and drove in 80 to 100 runs a year.

In the 2010 offseason, Bay inked a four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets. He was supposed to be inserted into the lineup and immediately be the power hitter that the Mets' lineup was missing.

Well, that did not work out well now, did it?

In 2010 Bay hit .259 with only 6 home runs and 47 runs batted in. He only appeared in 95 games, due to a concussion he suffered in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After his disastrous 2010 season, many hoped that Bay would bounce back into All-Star form for the 2011 season. To the dismay of Met fans, he continued his struggles.

In 123 games, Bay batted .245 with 12 home runs and 57 runs batted in. It is fair to say that these numbers are less than spectacular. He also struck out a team-leading 109 times.

What caused the nose dive in Bay's stats? I would be lying if I said I knew.

Coming into the 2012 season, fans should not expect anything of Bay. At this point, he should not even start in Terry Collins' lineup. He is 33 years old, and it is clear to see that he is well past his prime. 

Bay's numbers have proved that he can not play at the level expected of him when he signed his contract two years ago. He was atrocious at the plate last season. The only positive remarks to make about him are that he is an above-average fielder.

The only reason that Bay has been given multiple chances to prove himself is because the Mets have so much money invested in him. It is time for the team to realize that there is nothing left in the tank for Bay, and that his role should be nothing more than a high-priced bench player.

Many fans want to see the outfielder prospect, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, come up to the majors and take Andres Torres' spot in center field. Personally, I believe that Nieuwenhuis should get his chance playing left field, taking Bay's spot. Really, it will not take much to outperform the washed up Bay.

Just add Jason Bay to the never ending list of high priced players brought in by the Mets only to underachieve time and time again.