The way Terry Collins explained it, dropping Jason Bay from the cleanup spot to No. 6 in the lineup was not a demotion but a reprieve. "I thought it was time to let him relax a little bit," the manager said.
By relaxing, he meant alleviating the pressure that comes with batting fourth, the spot traditionally reserved for a productive power hitter. Bay, who entered Saturday night's game against the Braves with a .223 average, a meager two home runs and an 0-for-13 slide, has been anything but a productive power hitter.
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"I understand fully," he said of the move, about which Collins had spoken with him before he posted the lineup. "It's a results-oriented game."
He said that he is experiencing no repercussions from the concussion that ended his 2010 season. He feels fine. "I don't have a crutch. I'm glad I don't," he said. "It's all on me."
Bay said he has felt better at the plate lately, which isn't much consolation. He plans to try mechanics that will make him feel uncomfortable to snap him out of the doldrums. "I feel like I've got to start somewhere. It's been going on a year of just scuffling," he said. "I'm still walking a little bit, and you take some solace in that. But let's be honest, I'm here to hit, and I haven't been hitting.
"I think a lot is made of the lineup and what have you, and I understand the theory behind it," he said. "But whether you're hitting first, fourth, eighth or whatever, you still have a certain expectation of yourself."
Collins considers options
With David Wright out for an extended period, Collins said he has considered many options, such as playing Daniel Murphy at third occasionally and Nick Evans at first. But it didn't sound as if he were going to do that a lot. "You can confuse some people if you move them around too much," Collins said.
Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer, who left Friday night's game after being hit in the face with a deflection off his own bat, has a non-displaced sinus fracture, not a broken nose, and is not on the disabled list . . . Josh Thole posed for photos in the dugout with Mauro Castano, one of the bakers on the "Cake Boss" reality TV series. The "Cake Boss" staff at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken baked Thole's wedding cake this past offseason (it won't be part of the show). "It was unbelievable," Thole said.