One of the themes we will invariably hear about during spring training is that Jose Reyes must prove he is healthy and can remain healthy. That is a lot of hogwash — Jose Reyes is just fine.
All of this goes back to Reyes’s first two years with the Mets. His first season ended a month early with an injury suffered while sliding into second base. His second season was marred with injuries because the Mets messed with his mechanics. Because he was injured when he was so young (20-21), the “fragile” label was hung around his neck.
People seem to forget that the following four seasons were injury free, missing just 15 games over that span. 2009 was of course a lost year. Last season he missed the first week with that thyroid problem, but then he was relatively healthy the rest of the year, missing some time with various injuries that are not uncommon to a baseball player over the course of a grueling season. He ended up playing 133 games — fewer than everyone would have liked, yes, but certainly enough that it should have to dispelled the feeling that he is constantly on the mend.
Yet it was not. That “fragile” label continues to hang around his neck, and it really isn’t fair. Reyes is not like Moises Alou and Cliff Floyd, for example, who were fragile and were always injured. Just for the record, Alou played as many as 133 games in only seven of his 17 seasons; as for Floyd, he did it a shocking low four times. Reyes has already done it five times in his eight seasons.
However, I understand that randomly picking two players and using an arbitrary statistic does not predict health and success for Reyes. I am just using them as an example to show that Reyes does not fit the profile of a “fragile” player, and that stories about his “health problems” are greatly exaggerated.