Just one half-inning into the 2014 season, those hopes were already teetering after shortstop Jose Reyes left the game following his first at-bat with tightness in his left hamstring. Reyes began battling the hamstring issue late in spring training and was questionable to play in Monday's season opener.
The at-bat itself seemed innocent enough, or at least didn't hint that he was still experiencing discomfort. Reyes flew out to Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings and appeared to be run down the line without a hitch. Apparently he felt something, so manager John Gibbons decided it was best exercise caution with 161 full games and at least 8 1/2 innings remaining in the regular season.
At least it doesn't sound like a serious setback based on the initial reports, but hamstring injuries tend to be unpredictable and lingering issues. They're especially problematic for a player like Reyes, who's game is based around his speed offensively and his range on defense.
It also doesn't help his perception with people who view him as injury prone. After being limited to 93 games last season following an ankle injury, the last thing he needed was a lingering ailment out of the gate. And the fact it was one at-bat and done only adds fuel to the narrative.
When healthy, Jose Reyes in an all-star and maybe even a fringe MVP candidate. Here's hoping we get to see that version of him sooner than later, because baseball is a much better game to watch when he's on the field.
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