Thursday, August 25, 2011
Jose Reyes begins rehab assignment
By Adam Rubin
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes began a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Thursday night, although he barely broke a sweat as he works back from a left hamstring strain.
Leading off the bottom of the first inning for the B-Mets, Reyes walked on four pitches, advanced to second on a balk and scored on 2008 first-round pick Reese Havens' homer.
Reyes flied out to left field on a 1-1 fastball from Altoona Curve right-hander Matt McSwain in his lone other plate appearance.
Reyes was left in the on-deck circle in the bottom of the fifth and was pulled from the game after reaching the five innings prescribed by the Mets.
"It was nice to get on the field, but I didn't have any opportunity to take any ground balls and to run to first base," Reyes said. "I mean, I ran to first base, but on a fly ball. That doesn't mean anything. I feel like I didn't do anything really besides being on the field for five innings."
Reyes expects to play seven innings Friday and a full game Saturday with the Eastern League club, then be activated from the disabled list on Monday. He last appeared in the majors Aug. 7.
Reyes described himself as a "little jumpy" in his first plate appearance against Pittsburgh's Double-A affiliate, but he pronounced the hamstring fine.
"Right now it's no problem, so hopefully tomorrow I'll be more active on the field," Reyes said.
Reyes acknowledged, though, that he likely will think about the injury for a little while.
"Every time you have a hamstring injury, the first time you get on the field, you're going to worry about that a little bit," Reyes said. "But the more that I play, the more comfortable I'm going to feel. Like I said, it's always in your mind, for sure, the first couple of times you get on the field."
Reyes did not mind being pulled after five innings. NYSEG Stadium absorbed a heavy rainfall in the afternoon and was saturated.
"The field was a little wet today," Reyes said. "Just to play five innings, I think that's enough. Tomorrow's seven. And then hopefully the next day nine."
Asked if he was tempted to tell plate umpire Andy Dudones to call a strike in his first-inning plate appearance so that he might have the opportunity to eventually swing, Reyes laughed and said: "I wanted to swing so bad there."
Reyes did not intend to steal any bases or try to leg out any triples on Day 1 of the three-day rehab assignment, yet he still drew a first-inning balk while conservatively leading off first base.
"That doesn't get old," Reyes said about drawing balks. "I do that in the big leagues, too."
Havens, who homered, temporarily has switched to wearing No. 2 so Reyes can wear his familiar No. 7.
Havens and his teammates expect to be compensated, though. Reyes planned to treat the team to steaks after the game.
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.