Jose Reyes took another step toward returning to game action today in Port St. Lucie when he took live batting practice for the first time since being cleared by doctors 6 days ago. According to Marty Noble on MLB.com, Reyes took 25 of the 39 pitches thrown to him by minor leaguers Dillon Gee and Mike Antonini. Reyes has yet to play in a game this spring after being diagnosed with an overactive thyroid in late February.
With only five games left on the exhibition schedule until the Mets open up the season on April 5th at Citi Field, it appears more unlikely every day that Reyes will join the big club when the 2010 campaign commences. As badly as I want to see Reyes penciled into the leadoff spot that day, I think the Mets need to do the right thing here and be ultra cautious. Let him get his legs under him and get his timing down in Florida for a few weeks before letting importing him back up to Queens. Remember, Reyes has not played in a game since last May when he tore up his hamstring and has yet to even fully test out that repaired hamstring tendon.
So let’s all take a deep breath, and just be thankful that we’re even talking about Reyes possibly being ready for opening day. A few weeks ago, nobody was even sure Reyes would make it back before May. Now, that fact seems inevitable. What also seems inevitable are the question marks that will follow the Mets pitching staff into the regular season, something I’ll delve into in my next post.