Mets Mike Baxter Could Take Over Left Field

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 01: Head Trainer Ray Ramir...

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 01: Head Trainer Ray Ramirez walks Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets back to the dugout after being injured crashing into the wall during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at CitiField on June 1, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Jason Bay’s career has continued it’s steep decline this year. There have been calls from fans for two and a half years to keep Bay out of the lineup so he can’t continue to damage the Mets. Now that Mike Baxter is playing at Buffalo in rehab games, that possibility could become a reality sooner than later.

Baxter’s been on the disabled list since June 1st, when he made that great catch in left field preserving Johan Santana’s no-hitter. But he dislocated his collarbone in the process and ended up losing two months of the season.

Let’s face it, Bay has less than a year and a half on his contract with the Mets. He’s hitting .170/.246/.330 right now and there’s no prospect of improvement on the horizon. As the money left on his contract becomes smaller and smaller, the need to continue to try to get something out of him is reduced.

I’m not sure that Baxter is a long-term solution in left field as en everyday player, but I like the energy and effort he has on the field. And in 40 games (74 PA’s), he’s hitting .323/.392/.523. More than respectable! And when he did get a chance to play, he seemed to be in the middle of every rally. Not killing rallies like Bay has for nearly three seasons, when he’s been healthy enough to play. I’m all for giving Baxter a shot to hold onto left field as the primary starter with Bay playing occasionally against lefties.

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