Jose Reyes back … are the Mets next?

With his legs feeling better, stronger and more flexible, and released from the shackles of hitting third in the batting order where he never felt comfortable, Jose Reyes is back to being Jose Reyes.

Reyes is coming off this best game of the season last night, when he went 3-for-5 – including a triple – two stolen bases and three runs scored in the rout of the Phillies. One of those hits was off a bunt.

“I can’t wait to get on base two or three times a game,’’ Reyes said. “My legs feel so good now.’’

After undergoing surgery to replace a torn hamstring tendon, and missing most of spring training with a thyroid issue, Reyes as struggled for much of the season. His legs missed that strong push-off step and he looked lost batting third and developed a noticeable uppercut in his swing.

The result was a .275 on-base percentage.

However, relaxed back in the leadoff spot – he said it was like going home to see his family – Reyes has turned it on with multiple hits in three of his past four games. Not coincidentally, the Mets have won those games in which he had the hits.

When Reyes is on his game, runs seemingly scored effortlessly. Last night he led off with his 1,000th career hit, was sacrificed to second, stole third and scored on a Jason Bay’s ground out. It was the definition of a manufactured run.

“That’s a big part of my game – getting on base and running like crazy,’’ Reyes said.

Reyes moving back to the leadoff spot solidified the Mets batting order; it made things whole again, if not normal. It enabled manager Jerry Manuel to slot Bay third, move rookie left-handed hitter Ike Davis to clean-up and drop David Wright to fifth.

“It’s not just me, every leadoff guy from every team, if they get on base, something good is going to happen,’’ Reyes said. “That’s why we bat leadoff. The more we get on base, the more runs we’re going to score.’’

Manuel said the only thing that could change things would be the return of Carlos Beltran, but he’s on the 60-day DL and due back not until midseason.

8 thoughts on “Jose Reyes back … are the Mets next?

  1. so beltran will be available in july?

    that means about a month left. what is he doing now? sitting in the sauna and getting a massage?

    i wonder if jose will continue to wait for the sacrifice bunt or if he will run as usual.

    i predict sybil will move jose back to 3rd, because well he is sybil.

  2. dave (1): After the All-Star break is what I’m guessing for Beltran. … Manuel did say he wouldn’t be afraid to drop Reyes down again. But, if Reyes keeps hitting – and the same goes for Bay – then there would be no justification. Moving Reyes was a poor decision. Why make the same mistake again?-JD

  3. Its great that jose is waking up. still, i cant say the mets are back until they solidify thier rotation.

  4. Ray (3): Good point, and I think it would take more than must Maine and Niese coming back healthy. … They aren’t giving Perez enough substantial work for him to make any improvement. He’s a wasted roster spot for now.-JD

  5. john

    What was Sybil’s justification in the spring when he was talking about it? He still wants to do it.

    He doesn’t see that moving him messes with his approach. He starts trying to hit it out and so his avg goes down and strikeouts go up. He wants to see Pagan leading off.

    I admit so far Pagan has played well. He has not been a bonehead like in previous years.

    When Beltran comes in ( if ), then the middle of the order needs to be juggled. Hitting 1/2 should be jose/luis.

    If Beltran gets back does that mean we can get rid of mathews?

  6. john(4)

    havent we improved the rotation by swapping ollie/maine for taki/dickey?

  7. (6) We have, but that can implode at any minute too. Knuckleballers are either on or off, and Taka is going thru the league his first time.

  8. 7 yes i know on both counts, but at least for now they are performing and more consistently than those other stiffs.

    taki knows how to pitch. i was watching him that game, changed pitches worked the zone. i dont know if he has the stuff to get by tho.