Shortstop has had similar injury issues before; exam was precautionary
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Results of an MRI exam on Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes' tight left hamstring revealed a mild strain Monday afternoon, leading the club to consider him day to day.
The news comes as a major relief for an organization that could ill afford to lose Reyes for a significant period of time. Reyes and the Blue Jays had been saying for the past couple of days that the injury wasn't severe, and Monday's results make that official.
It wasn't immediately clear how long Reyes would be out of the lineup, but he has a full week to recover before the Blue Jays open the season on March 31 against the Rays.
Reyes, who has dealt with left hamstring issues in the past, suffered the injury during Saturday afternoon's game against the Tigers. He hit a ground ball to second base during his second at-bat and felt some discomfort upon exiting the batter's box.
The 30-year-old has dealt with this type of injury before. He had two stints on the disabled list and missed 29 games during the 2011 season for a similar injury. Reyes also has missed a handful of games over the years because of hamstring issues, but his only other time on the disabled list with that injury came in 2004.
Toronto's hope was that the tightness would go away relatively quickly, but so far, that hasn't happened and the concern is that it could linger. There's a week for that to change, and until Reyes feels better, he's not going to push the issue.
"It's about the same; it's a little bit better, but there's still some tightness there," Reyes said when asked if he felt better than two days ago. "You don't want to take a risk with a hamstring. When you feel something, you have to back off a little bit because that's a tricky injury."
The absence of Reyes during the regular season for any significant period of time would be a massive blow to the Blue Jays. Toronto manager John Gibbons officially confirmed Monday morning that Ryan Goins is his starting second baseman, but when Reyes needs a day off, he could slide Goins over to shortstop instead.
Gibbons would then slot Maicer Izturis into the starting lineup at second base. Although he's merely day to day for now, if Reyes' condition worsens and he ultimately requires a stint on the disabled list, the club will likely pick among Chris Getz, Jonathan Diaz and Munenori Kawasaki for the backup role.
Gibbons' public stance, however, remains that the Blue Jays aren't very concerned about Reyes' injury.
"No, I'm really not," Gibbons said. "My only concern, it's the end of [spring], he has a history of those problems, but everybody feels it's very mild and minor."
Reyes was hitting .255 with a .296 on-base percentage and three extra-base hits in 17 games this spring.