PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Frustrated with previous tweaks to his batting stance, Jason Bay began moving his hands again earlier this week with promising results. So he decided to scrap his new stance altogether, reverting back to the basic model he has used for the first eight years of his career.
"We'll call it a decent experiment, but ultimately you kind of do what you've always done," Bay said. "You do what you're comfortable with."
The new -- or rather, old -- stance paid immediate dividends Monday, when Bay finished 2-for-3 with a single and a double against the Braves.
"You realize that you already have the answer," Bay said. "You've just got to perfect it."
Izzy not worried about minor elbow issue
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- For weeks now, the only thing standing between Jason Isringhausen and an Opening Day roster spot has been the possibility of injury. Such uncertainty never entirely disappears for 38-year-old pitchers with spotty medical histories.
Now such concerns are taking shape. Though Isringhausen's worst fears have not been realized, he did receive a dose of anti-inflammatory medication Sunday to help relieve some muscle discomfort around his right elbow. Believing the injury to be minor, Isringhausen was in noticeably good spirits the following morning.
"It has nothing to do with anywhere they did surgery," Isringhausen said, referring to his Tommy John operation in June 2009. "It's just bad timing because it's toward the end of camp."
According to Isringhausen, the discomfort is radiating from muscles around his elbow, not from any tendons or ligaments.
2010 Spring Training - New York Mets
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"I think it's a factor," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "Whether or not it turns out to be significant, we'll know in the next few days. But right now, we don't think it is."
Beginning Thursday, the Mets will bus their entire bullpen to every spring road trip, forgoing set schedules in order to simulate regular-season game situations. By then, Isringhausen expects to be well enough to participate.
If necessary, he could remain in Port St. Lucie for extended Spring Training once the regular season starts -- but Isringhausen on Monday was not ready to broach that possibility.
"If it happens, it happens and we'll talk about it then," he said. "As of right now, I'm looking at being ready to go at the end of camp. That's my mindset right now."
Mets react to Castillo's signing with Phillies
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As the Mets weighed the pros and cons of releasing Luis Castillo last week, one of the topics they discussed was the possibility of the second baseman signing with another National League East team.
Ultimately, that's what happened. Both the Phillies and Marlins displayed interest in Castillo, with Philadelphia officially inking him to a Minor League contract Monday morning.
"It wasn't a surprise," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "It wasn't unanticipated."
If Phillies second baseman Chase Utley begins the season on the disabled list -- more probability than possibility, at this point -- it is feasible that Castillo could be the club's Opening Day second baseman, starting against his old team as early as the fourth game of the season.
"He might hit 30 homers in that place," Mets starter Mike Pelfrey quipped, referring to Citizens Bank Park's reputation as a haven for hitters.
Though his injury woes and reputation have obscured it, Castillo did post a .387 on-base percentage as recently as 2009.
"Hopefully they give Castillo the opportunity there," said Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, his former double-play partner and a close friend. "He still can play. If they give him a chance, he's going to do his job. I'm sure of that."
Limited BP, outfield drills for Beltran
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- In his continued quest to be ready for the regular season, Carlos Beltran took limited batting practice from both sides of the plate Monday, swinging on occasion but mostly tracking balls from a pair of Minor League pitchers.
"I thought his body worked well," manager Terry Collins said. "He needs some more at-bats to get his timing down a little bit."
Beltran, who has not played in a Grapefruit League game since March 6 due to tendinitis in his left knee, later participated in outfield drills. If he responds well Tuesday morning, he could start at designated hitter in a Minor League game in Port St. Lucie.
The Mets were not overly concerned after Jose Reyes fouled a ball off his shin Monday. "He just did it to get out of the trip tomorrow," David Wright quipped. ... Mike Pelfrey blamed a flat sinker for his inability to retire any of the first seven Braves hitters he faced in the fourth inning. "It snowballed quick, I know that," he said. ... The Mets announced 49 finalists for their Anthem Search competition, in which contestants compete to sing the national anthem before a game at Citi Field. Former Anthem Search winner Pia Toscano is among the final 11 contestants on Season 10 of "American Idol." ... Comedian Jerry Seinfeld attended Monday's game at Digital Domain Park.