I’m sure we’re all still not fully done digesting what happened on the field last night in Kansas City, but this ol’ globe keeps on spinning, so the Jays, Reyes, and all of us will have to figure where to go from here.
It’s perhaps easier for the club and player, oddly enough. They can’t just sit around and stew about it the way us fans can, plus they have real information– however much of it exits at this point– to work with, while we’re left to chase ghosts and deconstruct too-soon diagnoses.
For example, earlier today Jose Gomez, who is reportedly the assistant manager of the Dominican WBC team (though I can find no confirmation of this online) tweeted this:
Jose Reyes tiene un esguince grado 2 en su tobillo, el tiempo de recuperación será de 2 meses.
— José Gómez (@GomezFJose) April 13, 2013
Translated, it says that Reyes has a Grade 2 sprain of his left ankle, and that recovery time is two months. We heard last night, from Brendan Kennedy of the Star, that Alex Anthopoulos saw one month as the best case scenario, with the worst being three. Both of those things jibe, I think, with what Star-Ledger reporter Jorge Castillo was told by New York Mets’ Dominican utility player Jordany Valdespin:
Valdespin said he spoke to Jose Reyes last night. Said Reyes was sad and told him he tore ligaments and expects to be out 3 months.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) April 13, 2013
It wasn’t until just before 5 PM today, however, that we learned the full extent of the injury, and it’s about exactly as bad as those grain-of-salt-flavoured reports intimated.
AA says he expects Reyes to be out about 3 months or at least until the all-star break. #Bluejays
— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) April 13, 2013
— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) April 13, 2013
So… that sucks. But we have to also remember– as shitty and deflating as this is– that Reyes isn’t the whole team, and that they’re still plenty talented enough to beat a lot of teams. Also, as Anthopoulos also notes, it’s actually a good news day, in that at least Reyes isn’t lost for the season.
The team’s task certainly just got a lot harder, though– half a season of replacement level play in Reyes’ stead will cost the club two to three wins, per WAR– but if the first nine games of the season taught us anything, it’s that it was never going to be as easy as a lot of people thought anyway. And hey, at least we now have something legitimate to be concerned about. Jose’s bat, and even his glove, will be sorely missed.
For their part, the Jays are moving on by looking to at least bring some kind of defensive value to the club at short, placing Reyes on the 15-day DL, and calling up Munenori Kawasaki from Buffalo, according to a tweet from their official account. He looks to me like more of a backup, given that he put up a disgusting .215 wOBA in 61 games with the Mariners last year [note: analysis!]. He has a .721 career OPS in Japan, albeit with a half-decent on-base. But at least he can, uh, dance?
In fact, Alex Anthopoulos confirms, according to yet another tweet from Brendan Kennedy, that Kawasaki is a temporary, short-term fix, and that he’s looking outside of the organization for a more long-term fix– reiterating what Kennedy tweeted last night, after Anthopoulos told him that he’d already contacted other GMs about a possible deal. The GM also said that he’s going to prioritize defence in finding a body to fill the spot– meaning a lot of Jays fans are going to absurdly start suggesting that John McDonald is a guy who can actually be run out there daily for three months straight.
As for Kawasaki and his temporariness, the Jays have posted the lineup for tonight’s game, and he’s in it, with Jose Bautista sliding over to third, as he did comfortably last night, and Emilio Bonifacio leading off and in right. With Jose’s continued compliance, at least the infield configurations until Brett Lawrie returns won’t be terribly vomit-inducing.
And as for Lawrie’s return, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a rushed one– even though a lot of people were speculating that might be the case after the Dunedin Blue Jays tweeted that he wouldn’t be in the lineup tonight. While relaying the information about today’s roster moves, Scott MacArthur of TSN added that the Jays “remain committed to Brett Lawrie return timeline.”
Of course, that timeline could see him back with the club as soon as next weekend, so… that’s OK. Certainly more OK than the worst thing in all of this, which is that the world is going to be deprived of the joys of watching Jose Reyes play baseball until at least the All-Star break.
Jose, however, is taking it in as much stride as one could possibly expect someone in his situation to– which, even from how little we’ve got to know him so far, is entirely unsurprising. He posted the picture at the top of this post to his Instagram page today, with the following message:
Sunny days wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t for rain. Thank you guys For all the love and the prayers. I put everything is God’s hands for he is the one that’s got me here…
He also added a picture from the trainer’s table, as his ankle was being worked on. At least he’s in something resembling good spirits. The fan base may not be at the moment, but personally, I just think that means it’s going to feel all the better when we start to realize that, even without their shiny new superstar, and even with the small hole they dug themselves into at the beginning of the season here, things really are going to be OK. I’d be lying if I tried to claim we’ll be better for all this, but there’s still a lot of talent on this ballclub that hasn’t really shown up yet– and it will. And they’re going to win a lot of games. And then one day, Jose Reyes will be back in the lineup, and it will be fucking awesome.
Patience is a virtue.