Until he proves otherwise, Jose Reyes peaked at in 2008 at age 25. He played in 159 games and batted .297 with 204 hits. That included 19 triples. He also stole 56 bases.
Will he ever be that player again? Or, will he just offer that promise. Therein lies the problem. An All-Star who shows up to the game lame is no All-Star.
Last season was a washout as injuries linited Reyes to 26 games. He hit .279 with 11 steals. This season again has been aborted. He has played in 112 games and is hitting .287 with 28 stolen bases.
There was a time when Reyes was being compared with Derek Jeter. No one of sound mind dares to go there now. At his best, Reyes is an exciting player who can dominate a game one day, only to pull up injured he next. But it takes the first base coach (Razor Shines) or a teammate (David Wright) to notice it.
Reyes has this immature lack of judgement about his own body. Why did he try to play through last week's warning sign in batting practice that his oblique was acting up? What if the Mets were really in the race. Anybody out there think Jeter would have gambled his body or a season on one game?
Reyes at 27 presents a challenge to management. He is still relatively inexpensive. That works both ways. The Mets can pay him $11 million next season and see if he rebounds, or they can shop him and his contract. If the Mets let him go and he stars elsewhere, it haunts them for years to come. Keeping him too long might be the bigger gamble.
Reyes is a key in this ``blow up the core'' theory that would move the team from the many disappointments of recent years. When people talk about the untouchable Mets (I'd start and end that list with Wright), Reyes is not one of the names being mentioned.