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Mets Thoughts: Whither Jose Reyes?

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On Tuesday, Matt Cerrone over at MetsBlog posted a conversation he had with Matt Meyers of Baseball America about the World Baseball Classic and the Mets' involvement therein. When the WBC was announced, a lot of people were concerned that players might be gearing up for regular game action a bit too soon as a result of the tournament. I find the following exchange between Cerrone and Meyers to be both incisive and poignant:

Matthew Cerrone, of MetsBlog.com...

These guys aren't pitching all that much...if they were in camp, they'd be pitching a lot more...what are their work programs like down there...

Matt Meyers, from Baseball America...

Each club when they gave their player to the WBC they explained to the manager what they're expectations were...they're still throwing on the side...I think each team asked that they implement their individual throwing program that they would have them on during their spring training...so at least they're still on a schedule.  If a team wanted to use a pitcher more than they thought they would, they've been asked to give the big-league team a call and ask for permission...

From a Mets fan perspective, getting away from the bullpen, the one player who may be negatively effected by this is Jose Reyes. He only has five at-bats in the Classic and he's basically been sitting the bench for the last ten days...as far as getting at-bats against live pitching, he's a little behind...

I think worse than a player gearing up too quickly is a player who dons his homeland's colors just to sit on the bench. This was supposed to be the spring training where Jose Reyes started to hone his patience at the plate in an effort to develop into the top-of-the-order threat we all envision him as. He's at the WBC backing up Miguel Tejada instead of taking his hacks at Port St. Lucie against real pitchers in quasi-real game situations.

Maybe it won't make a difference. Maybe he's getting his work in during practice and in the cage, and maybe he'll hit the ground running when the regular season begins in just over two weeks. Still, it's absurd to me that Reyes is missing time with the Mets so that he can bat once every two games in the WBC.