On the heels of a three-strikeout game as he returned from an upper butt/hip issue, the Mets had moved Jay Bruce down to seventh in the lineup on Monday before scratching him due to hip soreness.
Bruce said Monday that he hates the idea of going on the DL, but will be reevaluated on Tuesday with a DL stint on the table.
He did not play on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday due to the issue. He has also been playing through plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and said Monday that it was still bothering him.
The 31-year-old Bruce, who signed a three-year deal worth $39 million during the offseason, has not hit a home run since May 7, and has just one extra-base hit in June.
Overall, Bruce is hitting .212/.292/.321 with three HR and 12 doubles in 62 games. He is on pace to finish the season with seven home runs -- a year after hitting 36.
Bruce's line drive percentage is 23.3 percent, which is the second-best of his career, so he has been hitting the ball hard. And his fly ball rate of 45.4 percent is around his career rate of 42.5. But when he does hit the ball in the air, it's usually not going far, which can be seen when looking at his home run to fly ball rate.
Bruce's career HR/FB rate is 16.4 percent. It was 19.4 percent in 2016 and 18.5 percent in 2017. This season, it's an almost impossibly low 4.1 percent.
Something will have to give soon if Bruce's production -- specifically his power -- doesn't improve. His .321 slugging percentage is the eighth-lowest in all of baseball.
If Bruce is still active and struggling when Yoenis Cespedes returns from the DL, it will be impossible to justify playing him -- whether it's in the outfield or at first base.