The good news? Jason Bay is seeing the ball well. The bad news? He’s still not hitting it particularly well.
But Bay is optimistic that he’s close to “putting everything together” after Saturday’s 1-for-4 performance against the Phillies.
New York Mets
He drove in Jose Reyes with a third-inning single. He also struck out twice and walked once. He is now hitting .234.
“Usually, when I’m struggling I’m striking out a lot, I’m not seeing the ball and I’m out of whack,” Bay said. “Over the last week and a half I’ve been seeing the ball. It’s just a matter of being in a better position to hit it.”
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens believes Bay is on the brink of breaking out of his slump -- he just doesn’t know exactly when it will happen.
“He’s trying to find some rhythm,” Hudgens said before Saturday’s game. “He has it, then he loses it.”
Hudgens said he’s studied tape of Bay’s at-bats dating back to his days in Pittsburgh. He noticed Bay is now standing taller in his stance than he was in those days. He’s also made small tweaks in his setup, such as adding a bat wiggle.
Hudgens said Bay looks at tape tirelessly trying to figure things out. The outfielder has two home runs and nine RBIs. Bay had just six home runs last season, his first after signing a four-year, $66 million contract with the Mets.
“You can look at all the video you want but he needs to get that feel. Then he doesn’t have to think about things,” Hudgens said. “Hitting’s such a delicate thing, a confidence thing.”
Hudgens believes Bay started to tweak things in his swing last season. He also may have started to overthink things at the plate.
“I’m sure if you ask him what he was thinking about at the plate in Pittsburgh and Boston, he’d tell you, ‘Nothing,’ ” Hudgens said.
The hitting coach is confident that Bay will eventually bust out of his slump.
“I’m confident he’s going to break out of it,” Hudgens said. “He’s too good not to.”