Jose Reyes reported to Mets camp yesterday ahead of schedule, stepped onto a field for the first time since August, and declared himself back to “normal” again after missing all but 36 games last season with a torn hamstring.
Reyes said that he’s “been feeling very good” lately and admitted that he “tried to come back too soon” at the training staff’s urging last season, leading to a partial tear becoming a full tear that required surgery.
Here’s a longer Reyes quote, from Adam Rubin’s article in the New York Daily News:
I have to think it’s over. I’m working for that. I’m working so hard to try to stay healthy. I have to be strong in my mind. Hopefully that will never happen again. I’m really happy just to be here. It’s exciting just to be on the field for the first time.
Given all the Mets’ problems last year it seems kind of silly to point to one player’s return as crucial, but in the previous three seasons Reyes batted .292 with a .355 on-base percentage and .461 slugging percentage while averaging 66 extra-base hits, 66 steals, and 118 runs. Getting that production atop the lineup and his strong defense at shortstop for 150 games this year would go a long way toward turning the team around.