Mets SS Reyes takes batting practice

BY foxsports • March 29, 2010

Jose Reyes is a step closer to appearing in a game for the first time this spring.

The New York Mets' shortstop took batting practice against minor-league pitchers Monday morning and said the session went better than expected.

Reyes has participated in six workouts since returning to camp Wednesday, following a three-week absence with a hyperactive thyroid that prevented him from doing any physical activity.

Reyes said he feels very good.

"I put the ball in play,'' he said. "That's what I want, and I saw a lot of good pitches, so it was good.''

In eight at-bats, Reyes put the ball in play seven times with a couple choppers to the left and right side of the infield, some grounders and line drives and a fly ball to center field. He also hit one to the left-field fence that dropped just into foul territory.

"I didn't expect to hit the ball that hard today,'' Reyes said. "I expected to swing at a couple and miss, but it was better than I expected.''

The two-time All-Star hasn't played in a game, other than an intrasquad scrimmage, since last May when he was sidelined because of a hamstring injury.

Reyes said he still doesn't know when he will get into a game or if he will be ready for opening day, but he hasn't had any problems since returning.

"I haven't played since last May so I can't wait to get on the field and play with my teammates, but right now we're going to take it one day at a time and see what happens next,'' he said.

Reyes said the next step will be running the bases, which he believes is in the plans for Tuesday's workout. He did some running along the base paths over the weekend, but has not participated in the team's normal base-running drills.

The running he has done so far has gone well, Reyes said, and he doesn't feel any pain in the hamstring that hindered him last year. He said he is back to running at full speed.

"I don't have any problems in my leg, and everything feels good but my concern is getting my timing back and my confidence at home plate, so that's going to be the key for me,'' he said.

Notes: Mets RHP Kelvim Escobar, who is in camp on a minor-league deal, threw Monday morning for the first time since early March when he was shut down because of discomfort in his right shoulder. He arrived at camp with weakness in the shoulder from not throwing for several weeks following winter ball but had been able to toss from flat ground until the Mets stopped his throwing program the first week of March. Escobar was considered a candidate for the eighth-inning setup job until he was shut down.

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