Just when one wounded soldier in Carlos Beltran returned to Grapefruit League action for just the second time this spring, another New York Mets regular has gone down with the injury bug.
Jason Bay was scratched from today's game against the Washington Nationals with what's being deemed a strained rib cage muscle sustained during batting practice. He is on his way to see the team's doctors.
It's likely that Bay will wind up on the disabled list, just as the health of his corner outfield partner, Beltran, was rounding into form. Beltran started in right field today, batting cleanup. Should Bay head to the DL, the Mets can backdate that time to March 24, according to Steve Popper of The Record.
As discussed last night, Nick Evans is currently on waivers and his fate is expected to come down today, but he could be someone the team uses in Bay's absence.
GM Sandy Alderson admitted there may be roster moves on the horizon, but it may be postponed until the deadline on Thursday at 11 a.m.
"We will have a move or two that we don't make until the very end," Alderson said.
Willie Harris and Scott Hairston are two outfield depth players with the ability to play left field, however, ESPN NY's Adam Rubin speculates that Lucas Duda could make the Opening Day roster with Bay down. If Bay is indeed placed on the DL -- and Duda is summoned from Triple-A, Duda would receive the lion's share of starts in left field.