A few years ago, we Mets fans were frustrated with Jose Reyes — he teased us with unreal talent, but couldn’t stay on the field due to hamstring problems. It appeared that he’d never play often enough to fulfill his immense potential.
However, after changing his running style, then changing it back again, then going through myriad stretching and training programs, Jose finally kicked the hammy problems for good.
Or so we thought.
Today Jose Reyes was absent from the lineup due to a “tight” hamstring. An MRI revealed that it was in fact a “mild strain“. According to Mets officials, Reyes will take off the rest of the weekend but be able to play on Tuesday. Strangely enough, Pedro Martinez also has a “mild strain”, but won’t return to the mound until late June. Hmmmm…..
While the Mets did not win without Reyes in the lineup on Saturday, it was more because they ran into the buzzsaw known as Ben Sheets than Jose’s absence. After all, Reyes is off to a slow start, barely hitting above the Mendoza Line — I doubt he would have made a difference. And with Angel Pagan playing with his head in the clouds, the Mets will be OK for the short term. But let’s hope a few days of rest is all Jose needs to get his legs — and mojo — back. With the assorted other injuries already decimating the Mets’ roster, a chronic condition with Jose Reyes’ hamstrings would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Other than that, I’m not liking Damian Easley as the starting shortstop, and I think his limited range at SS made it very hard on Johan in the early going, which forced him to change how he wanted to pitch. You could see Johan on the mound, very nervous with the Mets fielding.
Get Reyes back soon, or bring up A-Hern for defense.
And while I’m at it, I want to address something else. There was a text poll during the game yesterday that asked who should be batting second for the Mets, Castillo or Pagan (considering Reyes is healthy and batting leadoff). Over 70% of the respondants said Pagan. What the heck is this? A 2 week slump for Castillo is already getting him demoted lower in the lineup? Let me explain why this is a bad idea. Firstly, it’s too small a sample size to base altering the lineup. Hey, David Ortiz is hitting .071 hitting 3rd for Boston…anyone think he’s going to be batting 8th in the near future? Of course not. Secondly, Pagan’s bat is needed lower in the lineup. He has more pop than Castillo, and with his current hot streak, he provides valuable protection to whoever he hits behind. If you move Castillo to the 6 or 7 spot, do you think teams are going to regret walking a power threat in Delgado or Church every time they’re at the plate to get to the slap hitting Castillo? It just makes no sense. Thirdly, do you really think Castillo is a 6th or 7th place hitter? I think if he’s not batting 1st or 2nd he’s best suited to hit 8th, but that means moving Schneider to the 7th spot, which means it’ll be a left-handed pitcher’s dream to face Delgado, Church, and Schneider back-to-back-to-back in the lineup. Again, it makes no sense. And lastly, say in 2 weeks from now Castillo is back up to .300. Is it then time to move Castillo back into the 2-hole and drop down whoever else is slumping with the bat at the time? Or do you leave Castillo down in the order because that’s where he’s succeeding? The key of the lineup is consistency. And it would not be consistent to always rearrange the lineup everytime someone is in a slump. You have to allow the player to hit his way out of the slump. And 2 weeks is not enough time. If by the end of the month Castillo is still hitting under .200, then dropping him lower in the lineup can be examined. But as of right now, it just makes no sense.