Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Jose Reyes is just happy to be back.
He sprinted out to his familiar post between second and third base to take the field for the first inning, never more excited to snag a few grounders. Before the game, he took part in the position player’s signal meeting, something generally optional for a player of his stature.
So, after planting and throwing a rocket to Luis Jimenez at first base to finish off a game-ending 1-6-3 double play and a 3-2 Buffalo Bisons win over the Durham Bulls, it’s no surprise that Reyes turned and celebrated with second baseman Ryan Goins like he was a 19-year-old rookie all over again.
Reyes’ talent was expected to boost the slumping Buffalo Bisons during his three-game rehab stint. Friday night, the Toronto Blue Jays star showed the 13,169 fans at Coca-Cola Field that his simple presence, the energy that he brings to the Bisons, is where his true value lies.
“Well (Munenori) Kawasaki hit a home run tonight, so (the Blue Jays) might want to hold off on that and keep him here for a few weeks,” Buffalo manager Marty Brown joked with the media following the game. “It’s always a positive to have a player like Jose. Not only just his status and what he’s achieved so far in his career, but to just have him here for any amount of time is a positive.
“For three days he’s here to help us win and that’s what he did today.”
Reyes, 30, started at shortstop and led off for the Bisons. He made several plays in the field, showing that his recovery from a severe ankle sprain on April 12 is nearly complete.
The four-time Major League Baseball All-Star and 2011 National League batting champion appears to be feeling like his old self and having fun — great news for the surging Blue Jays, but bad for the rest of the American League East trying to hold off MLB’s hottest club.