In what undoubtedly has been a whirlwind of a week for Jose Reyes since the announcement Saturday that he is back with the Mets’ organization, the four-time All-Star has done a good job staying out of the howling blasts and saying all the right things.
But when 30-mph gusts hit the field, there’s no crafted answer that can ease through those working conditions, as Reyes found out Monday night while playing his second game at third base at MCU Park. He went 0-for-2 with a walk in seven innings and made an error in the Cyclones’ 10-inning, 6-5 win over the Hudson Valley Renegades in a Class A game.
“I need to see some more plays,” Reyes said. “Some more ground balls to get more comfortable. That’s why I need a few more games . . . ”
Reyes was charged with a fourth-inning error when he couldn’t secure a pop-up because of the wind blowing in from rightfield. “I should catch that one, but it’s tough with the wind,” he said. “Real tough. But there’s no excuse. I have to catch that one. I’m not allowed to drop any lazy fly ball.”
Reyes was unable to field a hard ground ball to his left in the fifth, resulting in Jonathan Popadics’ single. Popadics scored on another ground ball hit to Reyes’ left, which he fielded before double-clutching and making a low throw to first base for the out.
At the plate, Reyes hit a hard liner to left that was tracked down for the Cyclones’ first out. He walked on five pitches in the third and was called out on strikes after he fouled a few back in the fifth.
After a sellout on Sunday, the stadium wasn’t nearly as filled on a cold, wet and windy evening. Despite the public address announcer’s multiple attempts to start the “Jo-se, Jo-se, Jo-se” chant, it rarely lasted more than a few seconds. The fans surrounded Reyes for autographs before the game but later offered a sarcastic cheer after he fielded a foul grounder cleanly.
Reyes said he felt more comfortable at the plate Monday night and plans to call David Wright to get additional advice about playing third base.
“I need this,” Reyes said. “I need this to feel comfortable because if you go like that to the big leagues, everybody’s ready in the big leagues. It’s halfway through the season.”