CINCINNATI — Jose Reyes spent about 20 minutes in left field before Tuesday night’s game taking fly balls and ground balls hit by outfield coach Tommy Goodwin. The 34-year old infielder was going to make his first major league start in the outfield.
Reyes, who played one inning in the outfield this season, started one minor league game in left field in rookie league back in 2000.
“That was a long time ago. I’ll be fine though,” Reyes said. “The last time I played left field, I don’t remember if it was a full game or a couple innings. I don’t remember if I got any balls hit to me. I do remember I played left field at least one day, one game.”
With the loss of Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes to season-ending injuries last week and after the Mets traded away Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, the Mets are particularly thin in the outfield. They have Matt Reynolds as an emergency outfielder and they activated outfielder Travis Taijeron Saturday after Cespedes was injured. Terry Collins , however, said this was something he wanted to try and the Great American Ball Park’s small left field was the right place.
“I thought if he is going to go out there, we’ll put him in a place where it’s a little easier to roam around, it’s a smaller park, we’ll just see how he does,” the Mets manager said. “We’ve got to find out. Get him out there. He’s anxious to try it as we move forward, it’s something we’ve got to take a look at.”
Reyes, who is a free agent after this season, was eager to put a positive spin on a move that he was not thrilled about making this winter, according to people close to him. He hopes the versatility will help him going forward.
“There is no doubt. I feel like a lot teams this year, they use a lot of versatility, a lot of players who can play a lot of positions. That’s going to be a plus for me if I am going to able to play in the outfield,” Reyes said. “I don’t know how it’s going to be, because I don’t have too much work there, but I’m still going to go out there and I feel like I can play the position and see what happens.”
WHERE TO NEXT?
The Mets were still waiting to find out where they would be heading next to face the Astros. An MLB source said that a decision was not likely to come down until Wednesday. The mostly like resolution would be the Mets flying to Tampa after Thursday’s game and playing the Astros at Tropicana Field.
“Our preparation is get on a plane and wherever it lands we’ll get off,” Collins said. “Pretty simple, we got our pitching scheduled no matter where it is, going to be the same pitching. We know we’re going to have the (designated hitter) and we’re getting ready for that. Other than that, wherever the game is we’ll be there.”
The Astros, forced out of Minute Maid Park by the catastrophic flooding after Hurricane Harvey, are “hosting” the Rangers at the Trop tonight. With water reaching historic flood levels in Houston, it is not likely the Astros will be heading home anytime soon.
Though several of the Mets have ties to Texas, there were none that live in the Houston area. Collins, of course, managed the Astros from 1994 to 1996.
“I hate to see that. I’ve lived in Florida, I sat through hurricanes, they are nothing to mess with,” Collins said of the flooding in Houston. “This rain is just unbelievable what it’s done. I feel terrible for everybody in Houston and certainly try to do my part to help out.”
Seth Lugo, a native of Louisiana, was bracing for the rains to hit his hometown. His mother’s house is near a bayou and in last year’s flooding the water came three houses away from hers.
“Right now, everybody is OK, I think she’ll be all right,” Lugo said, “but the floods are rough. You hope everyone is OK.”
Michael Conforto was seeking a second opinion on his dislocated shoulder after seeing team doctors Monday, but the team was not expecting an update Tuesday. … Matt Harvey is officially coming off the disabled list and pithing Friday, as was reported earlier this week. … Noah Syndergaard is expected to throw a 25-pitch bullpen Wednesday.
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