Jose Reyes Back in Action

If you’re just crawling out from under a rock, Jose Reyes’ thyroid levels have settled to normalcy and the Most Exciting Player On The Planet has been officially cleared for “baseball activities”.

I think we can all agree — this is good news, and it’s wonderful to finally receive some legitimately good news out of Port St. Lucie.

At the same time, I must point out that it may take some time for Jose to get back “into the swing” (pardon the pun). He was completely sedentary — meaning, no running, no hitting, no nothing other than casual walking — for the past three weeks. It generally takes an athlete 2-3 weeks of inactivity to fall “out of shape” — meaning, loss of developed cardiovascular levels and overall condition. That said, Reyes will likely need some time to get back “into shape”.

Since Reyes was in top-notch condition before the thyroid issue, he should be back in action relatively quickly. But, “quickly” could mean as long as 3-4 weeks … maybe even 5-6. Though, I doubt highly that the Mets would hold him out for more than two weeks into the season. But if they do, I am completely OK with waiting until, say, May 1 before seeing him in an MLB game. Particularly with Carlos Beltran out, I’d much rather err on the side of caution and wait an extra week or two — knowing that when Reyes comes back, he’s 100%.

Another point: Reyes tends to have weak finishes to seasons. So maybe getting March and April off will allow him to play at full hilt and peak performance from May through the end of September.

See? Even a purported “negative” Mets fan such as myself can find the silver lining.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Mike March 24, 2010 at 10:00 am
    Well well, Joe, look who is the ray of sunshine and optimism this morning.

    With about a week and a half until opening day the question is will we see Jose Reyes in a spring game before then? If he plays, say the last weekend of games, won’t fans be confused as to why he is capable of playing spring games but not real ones? Maybe but I still expect to see him before the spring is out. Also it is a fair point, but I don’t think that starting his clock later (ie May 1) will result in a better Jose Reyes in September. I think him batting third and stealing less bases (and not playing every game of the season) will have a more profound impact.

  2. isuzudude March 25, 2010 at 9:12 am
    But, Mike – isn’t it Reyes’ ability to steal 40-50+ bases that makes him such an asset? Isn’t his speed and his knack for swiping bags that are his biggest strengths? And if Reyes hits 3rd, who hits 1st and 2nd? Who in the lineup do you honestly want to get more ABs than a healthy Reyes? Pagan? Murphy?

    Jose Reyes is not a 30 HR, 100 RBI guy, which are the stats you prototypically want from your #3 hitter. He is not Hanley Ramirez. Thus, you are doing him and your team a disservice by plugging him into a spot in the order he’s not accustomed to and he’s not fit for, while also further meddling with the lineup by inserting lesser talented and appropriate hitters in Reyes’ vacated leadoff spot.

  3. Mike March 25, 2010 at 9:44 am
    I hear you but I don’t feel that the leadoff hitter HAS TO steal bases to be good. I think hitting a double is just as good as getting a walk or single and a steal, in fact it is better. Reyes is a pretty high slugging guy and so his speed is only good for getting a triple and scoring on extra base hits from 1st. That asset is good anywhere in the lineup but is bets optimized when he is hitting in front of a high slugging guy, like Wright, Beltran or Bay. We don’t NEED Reyes to steal second when the guy hitting behind him is capable of hitting a double. A steal, to me, is a good idea when the people behind him cannot drive him home from 1st (a Castillo type or a lesser hitter like Murphy). So I argue if you want Reyes to steal then hit him first followed by Castillo or hit him 5th where 6-9 are less capable of an extra base hit. I think the steal is overrated and thus hitting Reyes 2 or 3 or even 4 is the way to go because he CAN hit for high slugging. Honestly I think the idea Mets lineup is


    I believe that the number 2 spot in the order is proven to be the most important because it gets the most at bats with men on base throughout the season. I believe the clean up spot is the spot that gets the most at bats with runners in scoring position and thus your best hitter goes there. 3 should be a power hitter because he appears more times with a runner on first or no one on the most of the top 5 hitters in the lineup so a double or HR is more valuable there. And the 5th spot should be a guy capable of stealing a base to get in scoring position for the lesser hitters below him or knocking one deep for extra bases and RBIs. So yeah, my opinion of the ideal starting lineup is not exactly the most common.

  4. gary s. March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm
    mike, BAT REYES FIFTH???? u better get your thyroid checked..u seem a little overexcited about reyes’s return.i hate to let stats get in the way, but here they are.2005-2008 j.r. was either first or second in ab’s, runs, hits and stolen bases.That makes him a leadoff man.He is a weapon in the leadoff spot.his strengths are wasted if u move him down in the lineup.As for running less, that can be a decision made by the manager.i also think it’s overblown.He’s 26 years old.He might never pull a hammy again or it could happen again in 2 does going fron 60 steals to 35 steals make him free from leg injuries?the answer is nobody knows.all the stuff u will hear from the writers and talking heads on sny is conjecture.imho only time will tell.
  5. Mike March 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm
    My view is that OBP is the paramount stat for a leadoff hitter, and that SLG is completely wasted from that spot. Reyes batting fifth IS DUMB because he would score less runs there, but batting him 2nd is 100% the right thing to do in my mind. But whatever gary s, I could just take one thing you said in passing and focus on that too. My point was that in what I consider the ideal lineup the 5th spot should have speed to be able to steal a base because those below him are less likely to drive him home with an extra base hit. Thus a candidate would be Reyes on that criteria alone, but notice how I put Beltran 5th and not Reyes. Geez.

    You should try reading The Book

    which challenges the ideas of the traditional lineup among other things.

    To summarize:
    1 highest on base
    2 best hitter overall preference to speed
    3 comes to the plate with two outs more often than other top-of-the-order spots, limiting its production, so high SLG is important. Best pure power hitter not the 2 or 4 hitter goes here.
    4 most chance with runners on base, best hitter may go here, preference to power
    5 best remaining hitter preference to speed because again you want to be able to get into scoring position for lesser hitters below.
    6-9 fill in by preference typically best to worst, but The Book is a fan of the “second leadoff hitter” theory. I’m not personally, so pitcher is 9.

    So no, I’m not crazy, there is a method to my madness, but I’m not alone.

  6. gary s. March 26, 2010 at 1:00 am
    mike, if reyes and beltran both play at least 130 games this year, the lineup, no matter how u set it up will be fine.than the problem becomes santana and four #5 starters.i’m looking forward to the start of the season, but this team has a lot of if’s…
  7. Mike March 26, 2010 at 9:35 am
    gary I won’t argue with that. I’m actually a fan of getting gaudan and maybe even trading for another pitcher and simply letting the best results dictate the rotation. Only guy I want in the rotation is Pelf because he still has a chance to be pretty good long term. Niese I wouldn’t hate in AAA for now, but I do like him as a decent starter.