Every day that Jose Reyes continues to nurse that troublesome right calf increases the probability that he will hit the DL at some point in the not-so-distant future.
The question, obviously, is can the team whether a prolonged injury to their beloved shortstop, who is the catalyst to their lineup?
The answer to that question is no. Without Reyes, the Mets lose both speed on the base path, as well as an irreplaceable spark in the dugout.
To make matters worse the team has also lost the primary backup shortstop, Alex Cora, to a thumb injury for an undisclosed amount of time. To further the trouble, the Mets will be without Carlos Delgado, arguably the team’s most powerful hitter.
Currently the organization has entrusted the 36-year old career minor leaguer, Ramon Martinez at shortstop. Martinez, who has started in five games so far this year, is sporting a .100 average (2-for-20) with two runs batted in.
These numbers wouldn’t be acceptable for a Triple-A team, much less a $150 million major league franchise trying to win a championship for the first time in over 20 years.
If Reyes can return to the lineup in a week or so then the Mets should continue with the veteran Martinez manning the position. However, if the injury extends beyond that period of time the Mets are going to have to try to fill the position from outside the organization.
One name frequently tossed around is Mark DeRosa. DeRosa, a New Jersey native, can man many positions including shortstop. On top of that he is coming off a career year last season with the Cubs in which he hit 21 home runs.
The problem is DeRosa will cost a fair amount of talent, and once Reyes comes back he will become a slightly more advanced player than what the Mets have in Fernando Tatis. Thus, it isn’t worth dealing for him.
Another player that could fit the bill is former Met, Damion Easley. I have seen this suggested on various websites and to be honest I’m all for it, and here’s why. Easley would come at a cheap rate due to the horrendously slow moving free agent market.
On top of that Easley spent the past two seasons with the Mets and performed pretty well for them. He does have some pop to the bat too, which would certainly be better than what the Mets are getting out of Ramon Martinez at the moment.