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Jason Bay Out With Muscle Strain, Ronny Paulino to DL

According to multiple sources, Jason Bay has been pulled from today's starting lineup after suffering a slight strain of a rib cage muscle during batting practice this morning.

Sounds somewhat innocuous but there is reason to be nervous here: First and foremost, fans often forget that a strain is a tear; and a torn rib cage muscle suddenly sounds a lot more ominous. Second, Steve Popper is reporting that it is very possible Bay starts the 2011 season on the DL -- backdated to March 24th.

And to add insult to this injury, had it occurred one day earlier Nick Evans might well have avoided waivers. Stay tuned for an official statement from the team as well as any other updates.

*** UPDATE ***

A relatively healthy spring is suddenly coming apart at the seams as Sandy Alderson just announced that backup catcher Ronny Paulino will likely start the season on the DL. Paulino was making up for lost time after visa issues delayed his arrival when he was sidelined two days ago with blood test abnormalities, apparently relating to some sort of stomach/colon problems. Ouch.

His DL stint will begin only after he serves the remaining eight games of his 50-game PED suspension.

Click here for the audio of Alderson's briefing (via ESPNNY).