Mets infielder Jose Reyes to play in World Baseball Classic
By JT. Teran
Jose Reyes will be the second Mets player to suit up for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic this spring.
The Mets announced on Thursday afternoon that infielder Jose Reyes will be playing in the World Baseball Classic and will represent his native country of Dominican Republic. Reyes, who is 34 years old, will be competing in the tournament for the fourth time. He’s one of the few players that has been on a national team roster since the World Baseball Classic’s inauguration in 2006.
The Dominican squad is the defending champion after winning the World Baseball Classic by defeating Puerto Rico in 2013. As always, they’ll be considered heavy favorites to make it deep into the tournament again this time around.
It’s unclear what position Reyes will occupy in the roster. He’s obviously played shortstop for most of his career, but after showing he could hold his own at third base with the Mets, it’s possible he gets some playing time at the hot corner as well.
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The DR team will be stacked specially in the infield, so there’s no guarantee of a starting slot for Reyes either. Players like Manny Machado, Hanley Ramirez, Robinson Cano and Adrian Beltre will all be suited up in red and blue, so it’s likely we’ll see Reyes as more of a bench option or late-game substitution.
While the Amazin’s have floated around the idea of having Reyes play center field this spring, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for him to make an appearance in the outfield during the WBC.
Reyes will also join compatriot Jeurys Familia on the Dominican Republic roster. Familia declared himself eligible for winter ball and the WBC back in the December with the team granting permission a few days later.
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Other notable Mets players that will play in this year’s World Baseball Classic include Asdrubal Cabrera for Venezuela, T.J. Rivera, and Seth Lugo for Puerto Rico, and for Israel, Ty Kelly.
While I’m a big fan of the World Baseball Classic, we’re all just rooting for one thing at the end of the day: healthy players.