The Mets will be seeing two familiar faces at Citi Field tonight when the team opens up its four game series with the Blue Jays, who are riding a major-league-best 11-game winning streak. Former Mets R.A. Dickey and Jose Reyes will be at the ballpark for the first time in three years.
This will be Dickey’s first time returning to Citi Field since the Mets shipped him to Toronto following his Cy Young campaign in 2012, though he is not scheduled to start until Thursday, when the series will be in Toronto. The knuckleballer became a fan favorite over his three seasons with the Mets for his dominance on the mound and his character off of it. The Mets then sold high on him in the 2012 offseason, trading him and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Blue Jays for Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, Wuilmer Becerra, and John Buck.
The last time Dickey was at Citi Field, he won his 20th game of the 2012 season in a 6-5 Mets win over the Pirates. Since then, things have not gone nearly as well for Dickey. He has just a 5.29 ERA this season. If the Mets recognize him on the scoreboard tonight, Dickey should get an ovation from the Mets faithful akin to when Mike Piazza made his return to Shea Stadium with the Padres in 2006.
Unlike Dickey, this will not be Reyes’s first game back in Flushing as an opposing player. He was a visitor several times in his lone season with the Marlins in 2012 and received a mixed reaction from Mets fans upon returning. While he did not leave town on the best of terms, Reyes, who played with the Mets from 2003 through 2011, should get a much kinder reaction from the crowd this time around when he leads off the game tonight. The fact that he is no longer playing for a division rival and more time has passed since his departure should give Mets fans a much more nostalgic view of his time with the team, as he will always be one of the greatest players in team history.
Despite missing time with a rib injury last month, Reyes has played quite well for Toronto this season. The 32-year-old shortstop is batting .300/.329/.407 this season with two home runs and 21 RBI to go along with nine steals in 34 games.
While Dickey and Reyes are the only two ex-Mets returning to Citi Field tonight, a Josh Thole reunion was missed by just two weeks. Thole, who was also shipped to Toronto from the Mets in the Dickey trade, was demoted to Triple-A earlier this month. Another former Met, Johan Santana, is also under contract with the Blue Jays as he attempts to come back from shoulder and Achilles injuries. Although he is a long shot to ever play in the majors again, Santana still is holding out hope that he will be able to pitch for Toronto at some point in the future.