Outfielder Jason Bay was not guaranteed a spot on the Seattle Mariners’ roster going into the 2013 season. But after he out-dueled Casper Wells in spring training, Bay had at least earned a place on the team.
It was unclear how much playing-time Bay was going to receive early on. But after injuries to Michael Saunders, Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Morse, Bay found himself in the lineup pretty frequently in April.
Bay succeeded in this role, playing all three outfield-positions and showing that he can still hit, posting a .273 average and a .365 on-base percentage in the first month season. Since then, Bay has seen his numbers drop of a little bit, but he is still filling his role very well.
Although he is unlikely to re-emerge as the star player that he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates or Boston Red Sox, Bay has carried over one trait from his earlier days and that is his ability to hit left-handed pitching. In his career, Bay has hit .276 with a .386 on-base percentage against lefties and is hitting .333 so far this season.
Manager Eric Wedge has taken notice of this, saying, “I’m trying to get him in there as much as I can against left-handers, he’s been given some opportunities against some right-handers,” Wedge told Larry Stone of The Seattle Times.
“And he’s made some real adjustments. He’s done some things to right himself a little bit and it’s paid off for us in terms of his production.”
The 34-year-old veteran is definitely on the down-swing of his career. But if he continues to produce as a bench player, Bay will have a spot on the Mariners roster.