Jose Reyes got just one at-bat into his 2014 season before injury struck. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
"A full, healthy season." How many times did we use a phrase like that in our team previews last week? Team X could improve a lot over last year if they could just get a full, healthy season from Player X. Here's an example from the Blue Jays' preview: "Healthy seasons from Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Brandon Morrow and Sergio Santos could have an even bigger impact."
Not so fast. Reyes flew out to center in the top of the first inning of the Blue Jays' Opening Day game against the Rays on Monday, aggravated his sore left hamstring on the way down to first base, and was pulled from the game before the Blue Jays took the field in the bottom of the first.
Reyes was diagnosed with a mild strain of that hamstring last week after pulling it in a game the previous weekend, sat out five days, then played Friday and Saturday in preparation for Monday's opener, but he couldn't even make it through the first inning of the season's first game. The Blue Jays haven't said yet whether or not Reyes will require a disabled list stay or be back in the lineup on Tuesday, but the fact remains, Reyes has already missed eight and a half innings due to injury. Given his history, that's likely just the tip of the iceberg.
Reyes has hit the disabled list in four of the last five seasons and could make it five of six if his current hamstring problem is deemed severe enough. According to Baseball Prospectus's injury data, over the course of his career, Reyes has missed 363 games due to leg injuries alone, including 102 due to hamstring problems, not counting Monday's game. In his first "full" season in the major leagues, Reyes missed 66 games due to a strained right hamstring then later suffered a stress fracture in his left fibula. In 2011, his last season with the Mets, Reyes hit the disabled list twice with a strained left hamstring, missing 29 games. Last year, his first with Toronto, he missed 66 games after spraining his ankle in the tenth game of the year. This year, he, like oft-injured Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, could hit the DL even sooner.