Reyes off disabled list, back at leadoff spot
CLEVELAND -- Jose Reyes returned to his familiar spot at the top of Toronto's lineup for Saturday afternoon's game against the Indians.
Reyes was activated from the 15-day disabled list following Friday night's 3-2 victory over Cleveland, and he went 1-for-5 with an RBI single on Saturday. He received clearance to play following a brief rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin and missed a total of 16 games.
The addition of Reyes is welcome news for a team that has been struggling offensively and needs someone to join Melky Cabrera as a consistent threat to reach base in front of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
"Real happy just to be back with my teammates, see my guys, real happy to be on the field and do what I do, just play baseball," said Reyes, who was out with a strained hamstring.
Reyes played one game at extended spring training and then made two appearances with Dunedin. He received six official at-bats in the Minor Leagues and went hitless, but he walked three times and scored three runs.
That's not exactly a heavy workload, but Reyes has been down this road before. Last season, he missed 66 games due to a severely sprained ankle, and he needed just seven rehab appearances before getting back into the lineup.
This year, Reyes went through a full Spring Training before getting injured during his first at-bat of the season. He missed just over two weeks of action, and while it might take a little while to get his timing at the plate, Reyes doesn't think it's going to be an issue.
"Last year when I injured my ankle, I spent like two months without playing a baseball game," said Reyes, who hit .296 with a .353 on-base percentage last season. "How many at-bats did I take when I went to rehab? I don't think I played more than six or seven games. This one, I only missed like two weeks I think. If my timing is not ready, I'll get it done here. I know what I need to do to get on track."
The hamstring injuries have been a constant concern for Reyes throughout the course of his career. His issues date back to 2004, and prior to this year, most recently popped up during his time with the Marlins in '12. But this marked the first time he required a stint on the DL for that type of injury since '11.
Reyes said there really isn't anything else that can be done to strengthen or monitor his hamstrings, because it's already been a major focus of his workout routine. He'll likely tone things down on the basepaths for the immediate future, but for the most part, he will be playing without limitations.
"All those years, I did a lot of different stuff to take care of my hammy," Reyes said. "Sometimes when you pull a hammy, it just happens, it's part of the game; it can happen to anybody. I do a lot of stretches and I always do what's best for my hammy.
"With the trainer, we always have a good routine going, but when that happens, it just happens. There's nothing you can do about it. I just want to play baseball without thinking about it."