Jose Reyes is proving his return to the New York Mets wasn’t simply about nostalgia but rather his talent on the diamond.
Did you miss the old Jose?
You know, the “finds the hole” Jose. The “runs lightning fast” Jose.
So did I, and after five years roaming the major league landscape in the likes of Miami, Toronto, and Colorado, the Jose Reyes that New York came to know and love in the 2000s is back with his beloved Mets, and he’s making quite the impact.
In July, New York signed Reyes to a $507,000 minor-league deal (with a team option for the 2017 season) as a stopgap to hopefully be a serviceable replacement for the injured David Wright. With his prime years well behind him, the expectations coming in for Reyes were meek.
Roughly one full year passed before he made his way back to the diamond due to a domestic violence-related 50-game suspension. Nevertheless, since his recall to the bigs, Reyes has logged 26 games, seen 119 plate appearances, and posted a .284/.336/.477 slash line.
Included in Reyes’ second venture in New York was a minor DL stint. In 10 games since returning from the injury, he’s played like an All-Star, tearing up the opposition, running wild and scoring regularly, just like old times. In those games, he’s batted .357 (15-for-42) with a .878 OPS, two doubles, one triple, four RBI, and nine runs scored.
Now, forget about the bat for a second and ponder the significance of Jose’s legs. As a team, in 120-plus games and with countless baserunners, New York has just 31 stolen bases. In 26 games this season, Reyes already has six steals in eight attempts, good for tops on the Mets. Next on that futile list is Juan Lagares with four stolen bases in 70 games.
For a Mets offense that has appeared anemic far too many times this season, Reyes’ production is a welcoming sight. Following Tuesday’s 7-4 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, manager Terry Collins said:
“Jose’s been a huge addition. We said it when we got him, that his energy is going to change some stuff with us and it’s doing that.”
Thus, it’s become evident Reyes is a bonafide catalyst yet again, similar to seasons of years past, particularly from 2003-2011 when he was a four-time All-Star and batting champion as the Mets’ shortstop.
The move by Mets management to rekindle an old flame was portrayed as an inexplicable infatuation with nostalgia. These days, it becomes safer and safer as games pass and the season progresses to declare the signing of Reyes a wise decision.
Truly speaking, with his combination of speed and ability to swing the bat, it wasn’t a matter of if he would return to form, but when.
Whether or not you can tolerate Jose Reyes, the person, there’s no denying the influence Jose Reyes, the major leaguer, has had on the Mets since his arrival nearly two months ago.