Reyes’s Key Word: Recurrent

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Jose Reyes hasn’t pulled his hamstring once. He’s pulled it numerous times and required surgery to repair having torn it completely.

You can come up with any adjectives as you like—strain, tweak, cramp, tear, pull—but the more Reyes and his defenders have to reach for their thesauruses, the more worrisome Reyes’s recurrent hamstring injuries become.

That’s the key word: recurrent.

It’s happened again-and-again and any team that pursues him—including the Mets—has every right to take into account the number of times he’s had problems with his meal-ticket legs and decide where to draw the lines in their offers for him.

The ridicule of the Mets medical protocol is fine; it might even be fair; but even teams that use state-of-the-art information in nurturing, protecting and treating their players have had giant gaffes in acquiring and developing players.

The Yankees signed Pedro Feliciano and tried to blame the Mets for his injury. (It didn’t work.) They also crafted these self-cannibalizing rules and regulations for their young pitchers Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy—of the three only Hughes has come close to what they were expecting and even he is currently in flux.

The Red Sox didn’t know how much of a problem Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s personal training regimens were going to be; how much they’d clash with organizational plans. Jacoby Ellsbury‘s rib injury was somewhat mishandled last year; they signed injury-prone Matt Clement.

The head genius of the geniusy geniuses himself, Billy Beane (coming soon to a movie theater near you), signed heralded 16-year-old Dominican prospect Michael Ynoa to a lucrative contract outbidding several other teams. Ynoa has pitched in three professional games and underwent Tommy John surgery last year. He’s about to turn 20 and is nowhere near the big leagues.

Don’t automatically think that another club’s medical staff—perceived as “better”—is going to have any more luck keeping Reyes on the field than the Mets.

If it were a “one-and-out” injury, then it wouldn’t be seen as a reason to diminish the amount of money offered Reyes. It isn’t. He keeps getting the same injury in one fashion or another and it will and should cost him money on the open market.



2 thoughts on “Reyes’s Key Word: Recurrent

  1. I actually have a little bit of an outrageous theory on how come there are so many injuries. (Granted, I am not calling this the universal theory of why all of these recurrent and problematic injuries are coming up.) But, I think that due in large part to the specialization of roles, which you discussed, and the specialization of strength training, this leaves a lot of the players with a surprising amount of imbalance in their bodies. Imbalance leads to injury.

    As someone who has spent a great many years training and studying the science of exercise and muscle building, the first thing you want to do in sports specific training is reduce injury risk. And, I feel that you do that by using an overall approach to the body, not body part specialization. That would come second. And, I don’t have any evidence, but I bet that more emphasis is placed on specialization than total body movement.

    I don’t have evidence, but just the nature of a lot of these repetitive and recurrent injuries makes me feel like that might be the case.

    1. Reyes had worked with strength training “guru” Mackie Shilstone after his first couple of injury-plagued years and was healthy thereafter; I dunno what happened between him and the Mets, if anything.
      There’s something to think about in specialization, but one would think they’ve focused on keeping his hamstrings healthy after all the problems. It might just be his “thing”. And if it is, there’s little that can be done about it other than hope it doesn’t crop up after he signs the big contract.

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