Reyes Fallout


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:


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:


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.


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.

Comments (60)

  1. Well put Stoeten.

  2. So, shortlist of possible replacements? My immediate fav. is Jamey Carroll from the Twins – capable enough MIF defense and gets on base like a boss (for an old fart)

  3. Seriously, it sucks, but this team still has a lot of talent. Especially once the starters turn it around. Not too mention Joey Bats and EE as well. And Lawrie’s return.

    There’s still a lot to like here.

    • I wonder who will replace reyes in the lineup, perhaps we should require mike aviles

    • Good point. Dickey didn’t have his best knucker and still put in a very good performance – the starters can go a long way towards mitigating Jose’s absence.

  4. Well said Stoeten.

    The Jays were a contender before they added RA Dickey. They arguably became the favourites after adding Dickey. Losing Reyes for a half season means the job just became harder. But they are still contenders.

  5. After seeing him get carted off the field, it could have been a lot worse.

    3 months sucks. But if the team has it’s shit together by then, and the pitching has come around, it will be fucking awesome to have Reyes take the team up a notch for the 2nd half.

  6. This is all utter nonsense it’s over!

  7. Thanks for this Andrew. I feel so, so bad for Jose. He is just the happiest guy on the field, and I can’t help but feel like his tears last night had nothing to do with pain, and everything to do with the realization that he won’t be taking the field for a long time.

    Damn. It makes ME want to cry.

    Sigh. Go Jays.

  8. MY baby, I feel bad for him the most, screw us he is a good human being.

  9. Is he gonna be the same guy when he returns though? I hope so. Also, I dont think they are going to miss his glove THAT much. He is a decent defender but you can find better defenders than him who cant hit like jmac. They are going to miss his bat a lot though at the leadoff spot. They dont have anyone close to being as well qualified as him.

  10. It’s hard to imagine a player who would justify giving up anything more than a PTNL or cash. Anymore than that, and you’re probably no better off than just giving Goins a chance. Alternatively, if you do get someone good, what happens when Reyes comes back? I guess you cross that bridge when you get there.

  11. Such a great last line. And then one day Jose Reyes will be back in the lineup, and it will be fucking awesome.

    Speedy recovery Jose

  12. I definitely understand this isn’t the end of the season. Still a great core of players here that are 4 – 6 despite some horrific pitching to start the year. This should still be a .500+ team without Reyes in the lineup.

    However that doesn’t mean that I don’t hate this.

    Reyes is the most fun Jay to watch as well as one of the most productive. He will bve sorely missed for the next few months.

    • The first 10 games have been mostly sad to watch but Reyes was the highlight. I will miss him on the field.

      Hopefully, the Jays can patch up the holes till he gets back.

      We need some good RA Dickey performance tonight.

      No one seems shocked that Blanco is catching him tonight?

      I am happy that Gibby is doing this. I don’t trust JPA with Dickey yet.

      I thought JPA would be

  13. Can we get a Bizzaro Ichiro nickname going for Kawasaki?

  14. Izturis is not a long term solution at short. Remember that fake tweet in the offseason by fake Caeser Izturis about him signing with the Jays? Perhaps it was prescient.

  15. Mike Wilner’s tweet about Lawrie from last night. He could be back sooner. please restock the RED BULL ROGERS!

    I’d be surprised if he’s not in the line-up on Monday at the latest. @coachbully: @Wilnerness590 any chance Lawrie comes back sooner

  16. Moreover, my opinion on this matter is that it really is VERY GOOD news. Grade II tear of the ligaments that does not require surgery….basically he will be rested for about 4-6 weeks..and then begin slowly rehabbing. wouldnt be surprised if he is back in less that the full three months. when he plays will be a matter of pain tolerance more than anything else.

  17. i appreciate the calming words, but…this is a really big deal. i think WAR-counting undersells a guy when he fills two roles on a team (premium position, leadoff hitter) and you’re only going to be able to fix the first one. we have a hole now.

    to put it another way – we’d all rather lose 3 WAR from the starting rotation than Reyes for a 3 WAR period, right? the stat correlates pretty well with wins but this situation seems like one that could hurt on the high end

    i’m going to try and be optimistic and say that if we get a plus-fielder at SS it should help turn around the pitching staff, who have been done no favors in the infield this year. that needs to be the priority in a replacement.

  18. Better video of Kawasaki getting his groove on.

  19. Yah this really sucks, but today I am looking at things with a little bit more of a glass half full perspective, as last night I was concerned that Reyes would be gone for the whole year.

    Shit happens. It is a cliche, but hopefully this can act like a kind of slap in the face to the team to get guys back on point who have started slow.

  20. Dickey’s time to shine!

  21. OK he is out 3 months, it sucks, lets move on and win some ball games.
    Im still excited for the season.
    Along the same lines as Stoeten, just wait until this time starts firing like it should, doing well and then adding Reyes back into the mix, make the Jays even stronger for the pennant race.

  22. I hope they don’t put bautista at 3rd, they need his arm in right and since he hasnt played there in a year he may be prone to errors getting used to the throwing difference

  23. This may show my absolute lack of knowledge on all things baseball, but why not bring up Gose, put him in the leadoff spot, and move Rasmus to right (his arm is strong enough) and Bautista to third? That seems workable to me until Lawrie comes back, whenever that actually will be…..

  24. So happy to finally read a piece that isn’t screaming the sky is falling. I am an avid Jays fan, watch almost all the games, I’m not a box score fan. So loosing Reyes blows, I have been in a state of shock, he has been the best player I’ve ever watchEd (was 10 when I saw Alomar so my memories of him are as a kid.) Reyes quite simply is the man, but I truly believe they will be ok and when he comes back and they are in a tight race it will feel like the best trade deadline pickup ever.
    As for lineup, just throwing it out there and might get laughed at but…
    Any thought of having Bautista at 3 and Lawrie play short, he has the range and arm and the Jays have way more OF depth.

    • Lawrie is this clubs starting 3B and Bautista is the starting RF……I just don’t see the Jays making two moves to fix this Reyes injury problem.

      • I don’t think being the starting rf or starting 3b should matter. The obligation is to field the best team. I honestly don’t know if moving bautista to 3 and Lawrie to ss makes them better, but it can’t be dismissed because these guys have set positions, there has to be a better argument then this.

        • I think by altering the vision that they started the season with and one that is only two weeks old will not be changed that drastically. There is validity in the option of moving both players but I believe the Jays don’t want to mess with Lawrie like that. Three years ago he was coming up as a second baseman they switched him to third and now asking him to play shortstop, coming off an injury for the first time in the bigs……..not going ti happen. It just won’t.

          • Agree its very unlikely, but if you give it thought without prejudice of intangibles like “vision” and “mess with” it makes alot of sense. Bautista is the same at 3rd as he is in RF, avg fielder with an above avg arm. Lawrie is the most capable athlete on there team, and Davis gose or sierra in right is better then whatever no bat defensive whiz were going to get. I’m hoping someone can dismiss Lawrie at SS with something tangible.

  25. Hey, still looking better than the Lakers after Kobe’s injury.

  26. Im trying to think of who to trade for a stopgap at ss and one name that would make sense is rajai davis. Casper Wells is a better hitter, albeit with less speed, but I think davis would have some value and appeal to other teams because of his quickness. Jays have pretty good team speed as it is. Your not going to get a star for him but a stopgap? I think so.

  27. We’ve all seen it many times where a star on a good team goes down and the team rallys around it (plug your ears Stoeten) and seem to use it as extra motivation.
    Win one for the Ol’Gipper and such.

    It recently happened with the Cardinals, when Cy Young- Adam Wainwright went down for the season and they still won the 2011 World Series.

    We’re still a great team just like they were.


    • Exactly. A lineup with Bautista/Encarnacion/Cabrera/Lawrie and a rotation with Dickey/Morrow/Johnson can still win 90 games.

    • Totally agree the talent is still there in the team. Reyes’s absence is being felt particularly right now I think because he was one of only a few to be performing and obviously because he’s so awesome but EE, bats, Lawrie and Derosa (lol, no) will all come around at some point.

      Totally disagree with your use of hashtags.

  28. It’s not that I think the team is doomed without him, it’s simply the fact that I love watching the guy play baseball. This is what upsets me the most.

  29. +1

    Will Reyes be back before the 3 month time table?

    Will the pitching step-up in Reyes’ absence?

    Will people shut the fuck up about Johnny fucking Mac and quit falling in love with fringe baseball players?

    Will oakville69 ever make a comment without prefacing it with a mind numbingly stupid question?

    Stay tuned.

  30. Speaking of God, it would be a perfect time for a miracle. :)

  31. Can`t we just trade for Russel Martin to play shortstop?

  32. the only direction that this club can go is up. Let’s hope to catch those rays of sunlight come July.

  33. I like Reyes a lot but that was a bullshit play, players often get hurt when playing half ass. That play called for a pop up slide at least.

    Did you ever see Alomar do something like that?

  34. Was watching the game with a really experienced physiotherapist and her first thought was “that’s career ending”. I hope and assume she’s wrong, but just watch what kind replacement AA gets. If it’s someone of real quality that they had to give something substantial for it could be sign they think the injury is worse than they’re saying.

  35. What’s up with his neck in that drawing?

  36. Bravo, sir! Nice read and a nice attitude behind it.

  37. WAR for Reyes will be higher than 3 if AA doesn’t find at least a solid, if unspectacular, major-leaguer to play short. Three months is a looooong time. This team has to get its maird together fast without JR.

  38. Anyone that thought all teams don’t have significant injury problems every year doesn’t know baseball – the Reyes injury sucks, but so does losing Greinke, Granderson, Ortiz, Eaton, Weaver…the sky isn’t falling, it’s about depth and our Blue Jays finally have some (no, not at SS but overall as a team) and they’re going to be fine. They’re still going to be competitive and have a fuck of a season, so enjoy!

  39. Brendan Ryan to the Jays. You heard it here first.

  40. Lawrie coming back will make this easier to swallow. Not that his bat is anywhere near Reyes but his defense is sorely missing.

  41. why are they moving lawrie to 2nd ? … especially for his first game back … you’d think that turning a double play might be a problem for guy with a history of oblique injuries

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