The New York Mets are sputtering, having lost six of eight, including three out of four to the San Francisco Giants. The offense which showed signs of life early in the season has gone into hibernation and the starting pitching has looked as iffy as many expected entering the season.
None of that, however, will be talked about much Tuesday at Citi Field when the Mets welcome the Miami Marlins to town. Instead the focus will be on Jose Reyes returning to play his old team for the first time since spurning them for a six-year, $106 million contract in the offseason.
Unlike the Mets, the Marlins were big spenders over the winter and were expected to compete for a division title. Early on they have been a disappointment (7-8, 4th place in the NL East) thanks in part to Reyes' struggles. The shortstop has hit just .230 with six runs scored, four stolen bases (in six attempts) and he's yet to hit a home run. Reyes has also been lost in the field, having already committed five errors after putting up a career-high 18 last season.
Reyes' slow start has been over shadowed in large part because of the controversial statements Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen made about Fidel Castro. Those comments got him suspended five games and drew protests from the Cuban community in Miami.
The Mets have planned a video tribute to Reyes, a player that appeared in more than 150 games just four times during his career in Flushing, the last time coming in 2008.
After the tribute is over and Reyes has likely been given countless hugs by the Mets players and coaches, the two teams will kick off a three-game series. Two aces that have yet to pick of a victory will face off with Johna Santana (0-2) and Josh Johnson (0-2) each trying to get their team back on the winning track.
You can watch all the coverage of Reyes' return locally on SNY or listen on WFAN 660.