Facts are facts. And one fact that’s pretty much indisputable is that hitters on the Interstate don’t travel very far.
With Jose Reyes sporting a .191 average after his two hits tonight, including a homer – in the Mets 7-2 loss to the Nationals, you have to wonder how much more rope he has before he the Mets give up on the veteran infielder.
“I lost my swing,” said Reyes sounding like Rannulph Junuh in The Legend of Bagger Vance, but unlike Matt Damon’s character, there’s no Will Smith to help him find it.
No, Reyes is on his own here and at 34 he is showing his age. Now the No. 8 batter in the order, No. 7 on your scorecard is no longer the offensive catalyst, who took Queens by storm a decade ago.
Nor is he the serviceable veteran, who helped the Mets fill a hole last season, after being released by the Colorado Rockies for domestic violence issues.
Reyes is a player, who seems to be a shell of himself. Sometimes, like tonight, he shows flashes of his old self, but most times, he seems to be an automatic out.
“I think Jose is frustrated because he has not hit, because he always hit,” manager Terry Collins said. “I hope while he is out there right now, he grasps that opportunity he is on. He’s at a position he is comfortable and I’m hoping it will help him at the plate.”
With Asdrubal Cabrera on the shelf with a bad thumb, Reyes has the shortstop job back to himself. He said it doesn’t matter where he plays, but he does feel more comfortable out there.
And he’s not injured either, because he said, “Everything feels so good right now and to be contributing the way I want to, it’s frustrating for me.”
Either way, though, he must do something soon, because no matter how the season goes, Reyes is a candidate to get released.
If the Mets season falls off the cliff – and if this was The Price is Right’s Cliffhanger, they are one bad price guess away from dropping off – then the team will bring up top prospect Amed Rosario to play short and probably move Cabrera to third, if he is not traded. The last two months of the season will be an audition for the young shortstop.
And if they get back into this race, Reyes’s travels on the Interstate will not fly as the Mets desperately do anything to get wins going down the stretch. The club will release him and bring up Rosario if they deem the top prospect ready.
Either way Reyes can’t stay at .191. He must hit, no matter how frustrated his is right now. Make no mistake, the Mets are desperate to win and want to keep the good will they built up the last few seasons going. They brought Reyes back last year only after they had no other options at third base. If Reyes didn’t have a history with the Mets, he would probably have been designated for assignment already. Only his history has kept him around.
But the clock is ticking here, no matter what he did for the club in past seasons. He’s making the league minimum, which will make the decision come easier for Alderson.
He’s on notice right now, so let’s see if he comes through.
Facts are facts.