ALTOONA, Pa. — Jose Reyes wanted some tips on playing third base and who better to ask than David Wright.
Reyes, who is rehabbing with the Binghamton Mets, called his old New York teammate after the B-Mets game with the Altoona Curve here Wednesday. “I got a text back from David Wright last night and the first thing he wanted to know was if I was ever going to get a hit,” Reyes said laughing as he talked to reporters before yesterday’s game at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
After signing with the Mets on Saturday, Reyes played two games with short season-A Brooklyn and went 0-for-5. He was 0-for-4 in his first game with Binghamton on Tuesday, but he’s not concerned with his slow start at the plate. “I’m not worried,” he said. “I’m going to hit. I’m making contact and putting the ball in play, so everything will come. It’s just a matter of time.”
That time came Wednesday. After grounding out and striking out in his first two at-bats, Reyes, batting right-handed, rapped an RBI-single up the middle during Binghamton’s three-run fourth inning.
Reyes drove from his New York home to Altoona on Tuesday, then stepped in and played six innings in the B-Mets’ 8-7 loss. “I was tired,” he admitted. “I was hitting from the right side [three times] and I hadn’t done that in a couple of weeks.”
Reyes played third base Wednesday and was in the leadoff spot again as Binghamton won, 13-4. In addition to his fourth-inning RBI single, he hit a sacrifice fly to right in the sixth and reached on a fielder’s choice in his final at-bat in the seventh.
“It was a little different today,” he said. “I had a little more time to get prepared because yesterday was a long day and I was a little more relaxed today.”
In pregame practice, Reyes belted a couple balls into the left field bleachers before fielding several ground balls. “The more I get on the field, the more comfortable I’ll be,” he said. “I’m getting more relaxed and, hopefully, I can take that onto the field and go from there.”
The toughest part of his new position? “It has to be everything for me,” he said. “This is my first time playing there and I’m doing everything I can to get used to the position. I’m taking ground balls and working on the double play, but I need more action in the game.”
Reyes had only one chance Wednesday. “I need ground balls and need to make plays,” he offered. “When I do that, everything will be fine.”
After a handful of games at third base, would he be willing to play the outfield? “Right now, I’m just worried about third base,” he added with a chuckle. “One position at a time.”