Jose Reyes and Fernando Tatis to Rejoin Mets Thursday

Wendy AdairAnalyst IMarch 11, 2009

The Dominican Republic was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic last night after the team from the Netherlands, who clearly took everyone by surprise, pulled off an upset victory in the 11th inning.

The Netherlands won both of the contests against the Dominican Republic, who admitted after the first game that they took the team from the Netherlands too lightly.  The second and final victory was considered by many to be more of a managerial and executional failure than game approach.

Jose Reyes scored the lone run for the Dominican Republic, but it was a failure for a team who made it clear that anything short of the finals was going to be a major disappointment.

Reyes and Fernando Tatis will join the New York Mets in Florida for Thursday evening's game, which will also be Johan Santana's return to competitive pitching, all hoping to show they have been working on the "team first " concept of approaching each at-bat and game.

The two should be anxious to put the tournament behind them and look forward to a successful season with their Mets teammates.

While Reyes is young and an everyday shortstop who will benefit from any experience he can gain, Tatis is an aging utility infielder/outfielder who mainly sees playing time when one of his teammates is injured or if he is used as a pinch hitter late in the game.

Tatis may have a harder time getting into full playing mode after seeing very limited playing time in the WBC. Look for Tatis to make the most of the opportunities given to him by Jerry Manuel this season.

Tatis will be utilized as David Wright's primary backup at third base, which will not give him much playing time, as Wright is extremely durable and plays 160 games a season, on average, barring injury.  However, his energy level following the WBC will be monitored as he will be needed every day at third base for Team USA due to the abdominal injury that Chipper Jones is suffering from so we are all hoping that Wright does well and stays healthy.

He will also back up Daniel Murphy in left field, which may give him more playing time. Although he is showing himself to be a good player, Murphy has not yet proved that he has what it takes to be a full time left fielder.  Tatis will also be an excellent pinch hitter, as he does come through with many clutch hits and will be a good advisor to the young outfielders.