Jose Reyes raised his league-leading average to .341 yesterday after collecting three hits, including his fourteenth triple of the season. Overall, Reyes owns a .341/.385/.514 line with three homeruns, twenty doubles, fourteen triples, thirty-two RBI, sixty-one runs, and twenty-eight stolen bases. The shortstop also owns a rock-solid 2.9 UZR/150 in the field. Scientifically, Jose Reyes is the brain of the infield and the nervous system of the batting lineup. However if the Mets find themselves in a situation where trading Reyes is a necessary evil, what would life be like without him? To continue with the analogy, heart failure–or in laments terms, the 2009 season.
Reyes has been a full-time player on the New York Mets since 2005, and has averaged 622 plate appearances per season since then. But in 2009, Reyes endured a string of serious calf injuries, knocking him out for the great majority of the season. As a result, the Mets only netted 166 plate appearances from their unique spark plug. Alex Cora took over shortshop, and the Mets used a mixture of Cora, Angel Pagan, and Luis Castillo in the leadoff spot. Needless to say, none of them had a fraction of the impact out of the number one hole as Reyes did.
While the 2009 Mets weren’t a good team even with Reyes, it’s important to note that the Mets were a solid 19-17 with Jose Reyes, and a dismal 51-75 without him. One has to think that removing Reyes from the equation in 2011 would have a similar, or arguably an even greater downward effect than it did in 2009. The 2011 Mets have survived without David Wright, Ike Davis, Johan Santana, and a competent Jason Bay–but including Jose Reyes in that group would just make things really ugly.
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