Matt Kemp held a conference call with reporters this afternoon to discuss his status following October 5 shoulder surgery and revealed that he won’t be cleared to swing a bat until at least January.
“That’s the time I usually start hitting anyway,” Kemp said, although based on other players who’ve gone through similar surgeries–new teammate Adrian Gonzalez being one of them–his status for Opening Day is far from certain.
Doctors discovered more damage than expected once they had him under the knife, telling Kemp that they were surprised he was able to play through the injury in September. He was in the lineup for 27 games in the final month and homered six times, but hit just .222 with a .705 OPS.
Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.
Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.
One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.