Jose Reyes: Are New Cleats to Blame for Leg Injuries?

Wendy AdairAnalyst IJune 16, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 12:  Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves is safe at second base ahead of the tag from Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets on May 12, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Braves 4-3 in 10 innings.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Jose Reyes is still on the Disabled List and most likely will not return until after the All-Star Break.

Reyes first complained of leg pain in his shin and calf just prior to the Mets west coast trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles in early May.

Reyes had been using Nike cleats and switched to Under Armour, and this is now being attributed to his injuries, which now includes a hamstring issue.

This excerpt is from Metsblog.com:

"Speaking of injuries, in a recent report for FoxSports.com, Ken Rosenthal says people within the organization wonder if Jose Reyes’s leg injury might be from switching shoe companies, going from Nike to Under Armour, at the start of spring training.

According to Rosenthal, “Under Armour is preparing a special model for Reyes, but it was not ready for the start of the season.”

If true, this change in companies does seem to be careless on the part of both Reyes and the Mets.  If a switch was needed for some reason, it should have been done immediately after the season ended in September. 

With proper timing, there would be no reason to believe that the new model would not be ready for the start of the regular season.

The interesting part of this whole issue is that Reyes participated in the WBC in March and there was no reason to believe that anything was wrong with his legs. 

If he did not attempt the switch until after he returned from the WBC, he had to know that they would not be ready in time.

From the start of the regular season in early April,  Reyes did not run like he was accustomed to, but no mention was made of any leg problems prior to the west coast trip.

He does have 11 stolen bases and two caught stealing's in 36 games, which is unusual for him, but like most fans, I did not think about it too much before he went on the DL.

Reyes has been going for some alternative treatments and should resume baseball activities in the coming week, but how his leg responds to these treatments will affect his training schedule.

As it stands now, David Wright is the team leader with 17 stolen bases, a role that he is not accustomed to, but the Mets need all the speed they can manufacture in Reyes' absence.

The Mets need Jose Reyes, but without his legs working properly, they are at a disadvantage because his speed is missed.  This is by far not a knock on David Wright and Carlos Beltran, who have been running more than they typically do in order to generate runs.

Once Reyes is back in action and running at full speed, most fans will relax, but we can only hope that neither Wright or Beltran hurt their legs in the process.  Losing either of them for longer than a few games would all but seal the Mets fate as non-contenders for the remainder of the season.


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