Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Reyes Just Starting to Kick into High Gear

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Reyes Just Starting to Kick into High Gear

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - Jose Reyes understands why some may be surprised at his hot start.

The veteran infielder returned July 5 after being suspended for violating baseball's domestic violence policy, and he didn't spend much time in the minors. Three weeks into his return, he landed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.

Yet entering Wednesday's game against the Cardinals, Reyes owned a .284 batting average and .813 OPS due to a torrid streak since returning from the DL.

"I don't want to say I'm surprised because I never doubt my talent. I was working hard this off-season. I know I wasn't playing in the games since last September, and didn't go through spring training, but I was working hard on my swing, doing my stuff," Reyes said. "It wasn't like I was in my house sitting down. I was working. I wasn't playing the game, but I was working on everything I have to work on."

Reyes has provided the jolt the team anticipated. He was hitting .357 with nine runs scored in his last 10 games entering Wednesday. Reyes owned a .426 on-base percentage in that stretch, and had four multi-hit games in the first eight games of this road trip.

"You're talking about one of the premier players in the game and we know Jose has a lot to prove right now and he's doing that. He's been a huge addition," Mets manager Terry Collins said after Reyes went 3-for-4 with three runs scored in Tuesday's 7-4 victory. "We said it when we got him; his energy is going to change some stuff with us and he's doing that. He's getting on base."

There were legitimate questions as to how effective Reyes would be out of the gate due to his lengthy suspension and lack of at- bats, but the Mets wasted no time inserting him into the lineup. The team lacks a true leadoff hitter, and though Reyes isn't the menace he was on the bases in his younger years, he can still steal 20- plus bases during a season. …

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