Most Toronto Blue Jays fans probably don’t want to outright say it, but something is definitely not quite right with Jose Reyes.
But wait, hasn’t he hit in 11 out of his last 13 games, with a trio of home runs to boot? What’s so wrong with that?
Well, as it turns out, just hitting the ball has its share of pros and cons. Though it’s undoubtedly the case that the bluebirds shortstop hasn’t lost any of his contact skills since returning from his lengthy layoff, it’s what he does when not hitting the ball that seems to have been adversely affected.
Or rather, it’s what he’s not doing when he’s not hitting the ball that the team should be concerned with.
See, when Reyes is right, he’s a ball of energy and dynamism taking the form of a MLB player: he can hit, draw walks, and run with the best in the league, creating his own offense when necessary. These days, however, he’s not doing much of the latter two at all: his 0-for-4 in the Blue Jays’ loss on Thursday snapped a three game hitting streak, but it also marked the 10th straight game in which he has been unable to draw a walk.
That stretch has left him with an underwhelming ..279/.295/.442 triple-slash in July headed into the All-Star break, and his .254/.284/.413 overall line is obviously a far cry from the .991 OPS start he enjoyed in the first 38 at-bats of the season prior to that fateful slide into second that stopped his momentum in its tracks.
To put it more simply, when Jose Reyes (3.0 percent BB rate over last month) is walking less than J.P. Arencibia (8.8 percent), you know something is seriously off in Blue Jays land.
Compounding the issue of his ineffectiveness is the fact that the speedster has only stolen a pair of bases over the 67 PA since his return, compared to the five that he swiped in just 43 PA back in April. Then again, given that he’s not really getting on base too much, it’s not like he’s giving himself a whole lot of opportunities to improve there.
Has Reyes not caught up to the speed of the game after the time off?
That seems like a likely culprit, and the worst thing might be that there’s not a whole lot that the Jays can do about it right now as giving the shortstop a breather would almost be contradictory to the goal.
The team needs a spark — but for them to find it, Jose Reyes will have to find his own first.