Matt Reynolds Is Taking Advantage of This Opportunity
Sometimes baseball makes no sense. The Mets went from getting swept by a horrendous Atlanta Braves team to sweeping a two game set from a Kansas City Royals team that beat them in the World Series. The Mets did this despite:
- Hansel Robles needing to pitch 3.2 innings after Bartolo Colon left four pitches into the game after taking a liner off his pitching hand;
- Wilmer Flores stopped hitting and fielding;
- Both Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes left the game early with injuries;
- Alejandro De Aza appeared in both games; and
- Matt Reynolds emerged as the Mets best left field option
The Matt Reynolds one is a strange one to say the least.
Reynolds has been a completely different player in his second stint with the Mets (third if you count the 2015 postseason). In Reynolds first stint with the Mets, he hit .100/.182/.100. Given his poor play, there was serious doubt about whether he’d get another shot this year. Then David Wright went on the disabled list due to his neck injury. The Mets were left with little choice but to bring him back to the majors.
Upon his return, he’s been terrific. He’s hitting .368/.368/.684. In three separate games, he’s delivered with an RBI single. Yesterday, he hit his first career home run. The opposite field shot gave the Mets the lead for good.
Even more amazing is how he’s been capable in the field. It’s one thing for him to have played well at short and third. He played well defensively at those positions in the minors and college. It’s another to play well defensively in your first ever professional game in left field. It’s a testament to the work he has put in on the side.
As he becomes more versatile, it makes it harder to send him back down to AAA. When he’s hitting the way he is, it makes it virtually impossible.
There are many different reasons to believe this is a mirage. Reynolds was only hitting .231/.291/.360 in the Pacific Coast League, which is a hitter’s paradise. His current hot streak has been buttressed by a clearly unsustainable .500 BABIP. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s hot at the plate, and he’s producing. With the Mets offensive wors, they’d be wise to ride this hot streak for as long as it lasts.
No matter what, Reynolds has fully taken advantage of this opportunity, and he should be lauded for it. More importantly, he needs to get more playing time while he’s hitting this well. Hopefully, he will keep it up, and he will make it difficult for the Mets to send him back down when the team is at full strength.