By Laura Amato
After a difficult string of games that saw a handful of big-time players make their way to the DL and manager Terry Collins shut down a post-game press conference in three minutes, the Mets finally received some good news Aug. 11 when Jose Reyes made his on-field return with the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Reyes spent two games with the Clones as part of his rehab assignment after suffering a left oblique strain that kept him sidelined for nearly two weeks.
It was Reyes’ second stint with the Cyclones this summer. He played in two games at MCU Park on June 27 and June 28 after the Mets signed him to a minor league deal following his release from the Rockies. Reyes returned to Citi Field July 5, but played in just 16 games before suffering this latest setback.
Reyes got the call to head to Brooklyn Aug. 10 and the former All-Star was just happy to get a bat back in his hands.
“I got to swing,” Reyes said of what he enjoyed most about his first game back. “There’s no complaints—it was a good game. It’s good for me to see everything go well.”
In his first 16 games with the Mets Reyes, a switch-hitter, hit .239 with three home runs, but struggled hitting from the right side after sustaining the strain.
He said he didn’t feel any discomfort in Brooklyn and hoped to use his time with the Cyclones to try out a handful of batting stances.
“I’ve been hitting in batting practice,” Reyes said. “I mean, just swing the bat as much as I can.”
Reyes didn’t record a hit in his first game back, but did work a pair of walks and stole second twice—something that particularly impressed Cyclones skipper Tom Gamboa.
“It’s good that he established his health in the game and stole a couple of bags,” Gamboa said.
Reyes connected on a pair of hits in his second game with the Clones and returned to the Mets a day ahead of schedule, joining the lineup at Citi Field Aug. 13.
Reyes’ season has been packed with headlines. He began the year with a domestic violence suspension through the end of May, but his return to the Mets had many fans hoping he could help spark the squad’s lineup. His first two games with the Clones drew some of their biggest crowds all summer.
This time in Brooklyn, however, Reyes said things were a bit easier and the lights coming off the Coney Island Boardwalk weren’t quite as blinding.
“I feel more comfortable now because [the last time] I wasn’t doing anything, I was sitting at home,” Reyes said. “I mean there’s no pressure, I just want to be good.”
Reyes exclusively played at third during both of his Brooklyn stints, but will likely receive the majority of his starts at shortstop with the Mets. He doesn’t care where he plays, Reyes just wants to win.
“I want to contribute everything I can. I want to win again,” Reyes said.