In 29 games this season, Jose Reyes is hitting .143/.176/.204 with a 6 OPS+ and 6 wRC+. To put it in perspective, a league average OPS+ or wRC+ is 100. That’s a major reason why Reyes has a -0.4 WAR so far this season.
To put his horrendous start even more in perspective, he had a 61 wRC+ through May 17 last season when he was off to a bad start.
When he is getting into games, he’s making mistakes like how he was picked off of first base by Jake Arrieta. We’ve also seen more than a few occasions where he has failed to make the proper read off the bat, or he is just not hustling around the bases.
His struggles are apparent to all including his manager Mickey Callaway. Even with Todd Frazier on the disabled list, Wilmer Flores is getting the starts at third base against right-handed pitching. When the Blue Jays pitched J.A. Happ in the series finale, Callaway opted to have Flores play first, Luis Guillorme get his first professional start at third, and have Phillip Evans play left.
Based on the past few seasons, hitting left-handed pitching was one of the things Reyes had continued to do quite well. Also judging from the past few seasons, Flores and his career -19 DRS at third base should never be called upon to play the position on an extended period of time.
And yet, here we are. Flores is the top third base option, and Reyes is not getting any real playing time. When he finally does get to play, he is unable to get any hits.
Put your personal feelings aside. This applies to all Mets fans. The group who still adores the homegrown player and sparkplug of the early 2000s. The fans who can never forgive him for the domestic violence. The younger crowd who may have seen him as an energetic player who helped the Mets capture one of the two Wild Card spots in 2016. Everyone.
Ask yourself one simple question: Is Jose Reyes done producing as a Major League player?
When looking at Reyes’ career, you always thought the last thing which would go was the spark. That smile. The energy. An excitement unlike almost any other player who has ever played the game.
Seeing his lackadaisical effort in his increasingly limited playing time, you don’t notice that same spark anymore. It’s not that he’s going through the motions. That’s an unfair statement. It’s just that he’s not the same guy on the field. It seems the boundless joy he had is slowing dissipating.
Seeing Guillorme start his MLB career the way he has, and seeing Gavin Cecchini bounceback after a down 2017, Reyes is getting pushed, and based upon this play on the field, he may not be able to push back, at least not hard enough to stem the tide.
Considering how well respected he is by ownership (despite his domestic violence past), it is incumbent upon them to work with Reyes to find him a respectable way to end his Major League career. Something akin to what the Mariners did with Ichiro Suzuki.
Schedule a day. Let him leadoff and start at short. Let him get a bunt hit in his first at-bat, and let him depart the field to the chants of “Jose-Jose-Jose-Jose . . . Jose-Jose!” Whatever you need to do to make it feel to Reyes like a respectful and fitting end before taking a front office or coaching job within the organization.
Really, whatever the Mets can do to get Reyes to agree to retirement will do because the one thing this Mets team cannot afford is to let him continue to play and drag a team desperate for each every win down.