Thursday, March 11, 2010

M*A*S*H: Mets Are Still Hurting

For what seems like the 4077th time over the past year, the Mets' battalion has lost another of its key troops to the MASH unit. This time, it's Jose Reyes' turn to miss extended time, as his hyperthyroid condition will keep him out of action for as little as two weeks and as many as two months, as was revealed today on a conference call by Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg.

The condition is not considered serious and Reyes will not be prescribed any medication for it. He will require plenty of rest and will be tested weekly until his thyroid levels come down to a normal level.

Even if Reyes misses the minimum two weeks, he would still need to rebuild his strength until he's healthy enough to play in a game, putting his Opening Day status in jeopardy.

Should Reyes miss Opening Day, he'd be the second regular player who will not be in the starting lineup when the Mets take the field on April 5 at Citi Field, joining Carlos Beltran, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery. Potential set-up man Kelvim Escobar will also be unavailable until at least mid-April due to a shoulder injury.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Apparently the Mets didn't get the memo stating that 2009 was over. How else can you explain these injuries continuing? There's no WBC to blame it on this year.

Fortunately, these injuries will not keep Reyes, Beltran and Escobar off the field for a major chunk of the season (supposedly). When the Mets take the field with their ugly red caps during Memorial Day Weekend, all three players should be available to them. How they will perform is something we won't know until they cross the white lines.

Experiencing the 2009 season prepared Mets fans for the worst. These pre-season injuries/surgeries are bringing back visions of last year's reunion that took place at Citi Field. Unfortunately, the reunion I'm talking about is not the one featuring the 1969 Miracle Mets, but the one starring the 2009 Buffalo Bisons, since most of the players on the Bisons' Opening Day roster ended up reuniting as New York Mets at some point last season after each injury claimed another victim.

When the Mets added Jason Bay, fans thought this year could be different than last year. However, with each announcement of another player missing significant playing time, fans expecting to see the equivalent of Hot Lips Houlihan at Citi Field in 2010 might have to settle for Corporal Klinger instead.

There are still a little over three weeks of exhibition games left on the Late Winter Training docket. It's imperative for the Mets to focus on remaining healthy just as much as it is for them to get in game shape and practice good baseball fundamentals. (I'm talking to you, Angel Pagan!) They can't continue to lose players to injuries and expect to remain competitive for long.

These injuries almost make me wonder. When the Mets unveiled their "We Believe In Comebacks" slogan for 2010, were they referring to the team being able to come back from a miserable season to compete in the NL East or were they just being cautiously optimistic that injured players would eventually come back from their injuries before the season was over?

Let's just hope that the team doesn't believe in coming back to 2009. But with the way the injuries are popping up again in 2010, it sure looks like they're feeling nostalgic for last season.

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