SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A fit and muscular Jose Reyes was on R2, known locally as Red Mountain Field at Salt River Fields, by 9 a.m.Reyes, who wore the team-issued purple and black wind shorts with dark tights and black tennis shoes, fielded ground balls with players almost 10 years his
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A fit and muscular Jose Reyes was on R2, known locally as Red Mountain Field at Salt River Fields, by 9 a.m.
Reyes, who wore the team-issued purple and black wind shorts with dark tights and black tennis shoes, fielded ground balls with players almost 10 years his junior. He took batting practice on the field to reggaeton music and later tried to remember when his new teammates told stories about meeting him as fans at a gas station in New Jersey years ago.
Aside from Reyes' tight purple shirt -- his teammates wore gray T-shirts -- and his sparkling diamond earrings that glistened in the sun, in many ways, the bearded Reyes resembled the baby-faced players at Rockies extended spring camp looking to find their place in the game.
Reyes is at square one. He's in uncharted territory, and his future with the Rockies is uncertain.
"Right now, we are concentrating on me to get ready," the 32-year-old Reyes said. "The only decision I can control right now is being here, working out every day and trying to get back in baseball shape."
Last week, Reyes was suspended (retroactive to Feb. 23) through May 31 by Commissioner Rob Manfred for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence Policy. The infielder was arrested on Oct. 31 in Maui, Hawaii, for an alleged incident in a hotel where he and his wife, Katherine, were staying. Police dropped the charges because his wife declined to cooperate.
Rockies react to Reyes' suspension
The suspension will cost Reyes about $7 million.
"I am sorry," Reyes said. "I put myself in this situation. I am sorry about it. I need to put this in the past and continue with my life and with my career. As a human being, human beings make mistakes, and I am sorry to put my fans, the Rockies fans and the organization in this kind of situation. Right now, for me, it's time to get ready and help the Rockies win."
Reyes did not participate in Spring Training, and Thursday marked his first full day of baseball activities since last season. Reyes hopes to face pitchers soon, and he stopped short of putting a timetable on his return to the big leagues.
"I feel great," Reyes said. "I have been working out since November, in the weight room and running and stuff. But when you get on the field, it's a different ballgame. It's a lot of different stuff that you do that doesn't feel right when you get on the baseball field. But my body feels great. It's the first day working out here -- I felt like I was 18 again. I'm working a lot with young kids, with great talent moving around with a lot of energy. That made me feel good."
Where Reyes fits in the organization is to be determined. The Rockies acquired Reyes from the Blue Jays as part of the trade that sent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto last July, but the starting shortstop job has been filled by Trevor Story, who is making a case for National League Rookie of The Year.
"It's good to see Story do what he has done so far," Reyes said. "He puts the Rockies organization in a good position to win every single night, and that's good to see. For me, I just have to try to get ready and help the Rockies any way I can."
Reyes' contract could limit the Rockies' trade options. The veteran entered the season with a $22 million salary for 2016, and he's under contract through next year at $22 million, with a $4 million buyout of a $22 million club option for '18.
For his part, Reyes is focused on the present and future while trying to learn from his past.
"Whoever knows me out there, they know my heart and what kind of person I am," Reyes said. "I have never done something like that before. You can go around the league and ask all of my teammates, 'How is Jose Reyes in the clubhouse and how is Jose Reyes outside the clubhouse?' They would all say, 'He's a great guy.' I'm sorry. I made a mistake, and I just have to continue to move forward and be on the field and do what I love to do, and that's play baseball."
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.