ANAHEIM, Calif. – A previously undisclosed right shoulder injury has been hampering Jose Reyes for the past month, and is behind the Toronto Blue Jays shortstop’s anomalous spike in throwing errors.
Errant throws in consecutive games Sunday and Monday – each pulling Jose Bautista off the bag at first – gave the usually sturdy-armed Reyes 12 errors this season, eight of them of the throwing variety. His career-high for throwing errors is nine, set in 2006, underlining how atypical this stretch has been.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know,” Reyes told Sportsnet on Tuesday when asked what triggered the problems. “It’s been long enough. One day I feel good, the next day I feel sore, that’s the way it is. Baseball, you’re never going to be perfect, you’re always going to have some soreness in your body. You need to find a way to control that.”
The pain, which also bothers him on certain swings, isn’t bad enough to keep him out of the lineup, he insists. But it has made controlling the path of the ball difficult.
“I feel like I’m not able to finish my throws when I’m throwing to first base,” he explained. “That’s why the ball is running away from first base a little bit.”
At the plate, Reyes is batting just .227/.244/.273 over his past 10 games, although he wouldn’t blame his slide on the shoulder.
“Not every swing,” he said when asked how it affects him at the plate. “When I catch the ball out front it bothers me a little bit, but it’s not a big deal.
“I feel like I’m able to play like that, to help this ball club like that. If you asked everybody here if they have some soreness in their body, everybody is going to say yes.”
The Blue Jays have no shortage of players in a similar spot.
Jose Bautista is struggling with a hamstring injury, Adam Lind is playing through a bruised foot, Steve Tolleson is on a sore ankle and outfielder Cole Gillespie sat out Tuesday with a ribcage issue. The there’s Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie, who are on the disabled list.
In that sense, the all-star break can’t come fast enough.
“It’s going to be good, no doubt, not just for us, for everybody,” said Reyes. “Four days off, specifically in the ballpark we play in, with that turf, those days off are going to be good for your body. Hopefully we come out strong in the second half.”