Reyes settles in with Rox, eyes better results
Shortstop hits first HR with club in 4-for-5 game on Tuesday
DENVER -- There's nothing like a four-hit night to raise one's comfort level. After going 4-for-5 with his first Rockies home run in Tuesday night's 15-6 loss to the Nationals, shortstop Jose Reyes -- the veteran addition in the Troy Tulowitzki trade with the Blue Jays -- is starting to settle in with Colorado.
"It's taken a few games," Reyes said. "Like, the other day, we were playing the San Diego Padres, I had faced Ian Kennedy but the other two guys I'd never faced before. Well, I'd faced Andrew Cashner but he was in the bullpen and it was a long time ago when I was in New York. Other guys, I didn't even know. So you have to make adjustments, but I always believe in my talent and watching video."
Reyes, 32, also noted the life adjustment, which is underrated by the public because rarely are folks sent to live elsewhere -- say, in another country -- and asked to work immediately.
"For the first week, my mind was running off," Reyes said. "But now I have a place here and everything is settling down. You're going to see better results."
Anything can happen, since Reyes has cleared waivers and could be traded again -- he'd be eligible for the postseason if dealt before July 31. But barring that, Reyes, due $44 million in 2016-17, with a $22 million option or $4 million guaranteed buyout for 2018, has a chance in the final weeks of the season to adjust and fit with the Rockies. It's an intriguing proposition to watch.
Offensively, the Rockies could use Reyes' switch-hitting bat and speed, even if it's not what it was when he led the National League in stolen bases each season 2005-07 with the Mets. Defensively, there are questions that may be difficult to evaluate.
According to FanGraphs, Reyes ranks last among the 25 Major League shortstops who have enough action to qualify among the rankings in Defensive Runs Saved at minus-11. That includes his time in Toronto.
From the naked eye, Reyes doesn't reach nearly as many balls as Tulowitzki (ranked eighth at plus-1).
Reyes has lived up to his reputation for bringing energy, which hasn't been hurt by the Rockies' last-place status in the National League West. In that vein, he appreciates playing on grass as opposed to artificial turf in Toronto. And he has quickly come to enjoy working between two Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners, third baseman Nolan Arenado and second baseman DJ LeMahieu.
"I love playing on grass, Nolan and DJ make me better - they're good," Reyes said. "They're the best guys I've ever played with - not taking anything away from other guys I've played with. I know in Toronto I was struggling playing defense, but here I feel a lot better."
But Reyes said going from an efficient Blue Jays staff to a Rockies staff that's struggling -- especially in the bullpen -- has been tough. On Tuesday, the Rockies walked 10 and watched eight of those runners score. That can slow any shortstop, said Rockies manager Walt Weiss -- a former shortstop.
"As Jose settles in here, his range will show up."
"Most of the guys in our 'pen throw 95-97 [mph]," Reyes said. "Talking as a hitter, it's hard to hit 97. When you have a guy pitching all over the place, as an infield you have to prepare for every pitch, but sometimes it's hard. It's different when a guy throws strikes. I know they're trying. But it should be better. "