New York Mets: Jose Reyes Should Be Relegated to Bench, Not Elevated to Starter
Jun 19, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (7) is congratulated for hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing to give Jose Reyes regular playing time makes no sense. So of course, that’s exactly what the Mets plan to do.

Albert Einstein once famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When it comes to Jose Reyes, it’s fair to say that the decision-makers for the New York Mets have lost their collective minds.

Take a look at what MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo says the team has in store for Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera, once the latter returns from the disabled list.

That’s enough for any devout Mets fan to willingly be committed.

Once upon a time, Reyes was a terrific all-around ballplayer. He could impact the game with his bat, his glove and his legs. Few would dispute that, from 2005 through 2011, he was one of the best shortstops in the big leagues.

Reyes hit .293 with a .790 OPS over that seven-year stretch, earning four All-Star selections and five top-30 finishes in the National League MVP voting.

But that player is long gone. In his place stands a 34-year-old who, out of 162 qualified batters in 2017, ranks among baseball’s least productive hitters.

StatisticReyes 2017MLB Rank
BA.192160
OBP.265159
SLG.322157
OPS.587159

As badly as Mets fans wish those numbers would lie, they don’t. Continuing to send Reyes out to the field with any regularity is indefensible at this point.

Especially when the Mets have other options—options not named Amed Rosario, the team’s top prospect who we recently determined is exactly where he should be—down on the farm.

Keeping Cabrera at shortstop, despite his defensive limitations and 11 errors (the third-highest total at the position), is the team’s best non-Rosario move. It’s been three years since Cabrera manned second base, back in 2014 for the Washington Nationals.

A combination of Gavin Cecchini and T.J. Rivera is more than capable of holding things down at the keystone in Neil Walker’s absence.

But if moving Cabrera off the position is truly what the Mets want to do, then how about giving Cecchini a chance to show what he can do at shortstop?

Named the team’s third-best prospect heading into the season by MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline, the 23-year-old has the arm strength, lateral quickness and smooth hands needed to field the position.

Wilmer Flores, who has spent the bulk of the year splitting time at the infield corners, also has experience playing shortstop.

If improving the defense at short is the team’s primary goal, then perhaps a deal with Miami for Adeiny Hechavarria, a career .255 hitter, is in order?

According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, the Marlins are expected to trade the 28-year old defensive whiz in the next few days.

Reyes might be a better defensive shortstop than Cabrera, but he’s not in the same stratosphere as Hechavarria. And chances are the Mets would get more out of Hechavarria offensively than Reyes can contribute at this point in his career.

Nobody’s saying that the Mets should cut ties with Reyes. By all accounts, he’s a respected leader and positive influence in the clubhouse. He can still swipe a bag and has value as a utility infielder.

But he’s well past his expiration date as a useful everyday player.

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Rick Weiner

I’ve been dunked on by Shaq and yelled at by Mickey Mantle. ESNY Editor In Chief. UMass alum. Former National Columnist w/Bleacher Report & former member of NY Knicks Basketball Ops department. Nephew of Rock & Roll Royalty.