Coutinho: Michael Conforto and Jose Reyes Leading The Mets Way

WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, the Mets left New York with the weight of the world on their shoulders getting ready to face the red hot Nationals who were sending Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to the mound on successive days. Many thought the Mets would begin a fade into the sunset even though we were still in April. I tried to warn people that this Met team has proven that they always respond in these times but must ignored me. Maybe down the road, people won’t be too quick to ignore me.

Both nights they found a way to beat both of those pitchers and received offense from someone who has been doing it when called upon-Michael Conforto and one who had been slumping-Jose Reyes. I will get to Reyes in a bit but first lets chat about Conforto. This is a guy who did not know in spring training if he would even make the team due to a crowded outfield but never let that affect him even for a split second. He performed at a high level in Port St Lucie and when given the chance here in April he has hit the ground running.

Conforto has 17 hits in 51 AB’s but more than that has 36 Total Bases including 6 Home Runs and 12 RBI’s. He has excelled in the leadoff spot by jumpstarting the Met offense and he has also played a brand of defense that totally defies the scouting reports we heard about him. This weekend, Jose Reyes joined the party as well proving that quitting on him is never an option.

I spent a bunch of time with Reyes before Friday Night’s game here in DC and he told me that he honestly felt his swing was getting better and felt energized by the challenge of this weekend. Over his last 18 AB’s Reyes is hitting .444 including a 2 for 4 day here in DC today which included a home run and 2 runs scored. Energy is such a big part of his game and he has shown that in the past few days making Terry Collins think about returning him to the leadoff spot and placing Conforto in the middle of the lineup for an additional run producing bat in the heart of the order.

It seems to be the long term plan and he did admit Jose would get a start at shortstop on Sunday to give Asdrubal Cabrera a much needed day off. After his media scrum today, Jose and I had a chance to chat and he told me the only thing he wants is for this Met team to win. If it means playing third, batting 8th, batting leadoff, batting sixth, he could care less. Terry Collins has treated him very well despite his slump and that has helped him get his swing back.

Jose Reyes and Michael Conforto—2 players that have helped the Mets rebound against a talented team they could not afford to slip further behind in the standings. A fact that Terry Collins readily admitted after the game here in DC.

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