McDonald: How Long Should Jose Reyes’s Scholarship Last?

Well this is escalating quickly.

After being 11-1 in Friday, the Mets have dropped three of the last four, including two winnable games against the Nationals, after tonight’s 5-2 Washington win behind Gio Gonzalez.

Time for Panic City? Well no, the Mets are still a very respectable 12-4, but some cracks are starting to show.

The bullpen is starting to give up some runs and those clutch come from behind hits have dried up. Both were to be expected, but not in this fashion.

More concerning is the play of Jose Reyes and his 0-17 start as a bench player. A new role for Reyes, manager Mickey Callaway put him up as a pinch hitter with one out and the tying run on third.

Reyes struck out, as has been his mantra this season.

“You see the results,” Reyes said. “Kind of lost a little bit right now. This is the first time going through this in my long career. Pinch hitting and stuff. I’m used to playing everyday and I have to adjust in my new role. I’m going to feel it out.”

Great, but how long will that be? Right now, Reyes looks like he is going to ask the IRS for base hits in his tax return, rather than a check. It’s getting somewhat desperate.

And here is another issue: Because he’s a Met all-time favorite, does this mean Reyes will get a longer scholarship compared to a player signed from another organization?

Sure, this is a long season and Reyes can easily turn it around, but right now using him as a veteran pinch hitter off the bench is costing the Mets. Since Callaway is such a big fan of analytics, he is seeing Reyes as he was as a starter. That Reyes is no longer exists unless there’s an injury on the infield.

Instead you have this shell of himself bench player, who looks entirely lost. Callaway needs to take his head out of the binder and see that. Until Reyes proves himself as a big-league pinch hitter, the manager needs to shy away from him unless absolutely necessary.

In the sixth, the Mets would have been better served sending Michael Conforto up, even with a lefty vs. lefty situation.

You have to feel bad for Reyes. He loves playing here and would probably play for free if he could and would accept any role the Mets ask him. Reyes, though, doesn’t seem to be a bench player, at least right now. Sure, he wants to, but he also wants to help the team.

And because it’s Reyes, the Mets may wait longer to cut bait with him. He’s only making $2 million, so it’s easy for the Mets to say goodbye.

On April 17, the Mets are not there yet, but if Callaway stops using Reyes in key spots – as he should right now – it means the team would play shorthanded. How does that help?

Maybe, Reyes would accept a demotion to Triple-A (He has the right to refuse.) in order to get his swing back and learn his new role as a bench and utility man.

Because 0-17 is just not cutting it and if it continues, a decision will have to be made.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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