When I read these stories about the Mets, I can’t help but imagine their clubhouse as a hospital waiting room, housing a plethora of injured players and damaged egos.
Baseball Prospectus’ 2010 Guide superbly chronologized the almost-inconceivable string of bad luck that has plagued the Mets since the team’s dreadful September of 2007. After Omar Minaya (ranked 26th out of 30 in Sports Illustrated’s latest GM rankings) announced Thursday that shortstop Jose Reyes will likely be unable to suit up on Opening Day, it appears that BP can feel free to add another notch to their timeline.
On March 4, Reyes was removed from the Mets lineup after doctors detected a problem with his physical. He was later diagnosed with an overactive thyroid, a problem that is easily exacerbated by an increase in heart rate. For this reason, doctors advised Reyes to take some time off, in hopes that his elevated thyroid level would go back down.
After excercising Monday and Tuesday, Reyes’ thyroid levels were elevated once again, prompting team doctors to suggest the superstar shortstop stay away from all athletic activity (including working out) for two-to-eight weeks. If Reyes is able to avoid strenuous activity during this period, it is thought that his thyroid levels will normalize.
Reyes’ agent, Peter Greenberg was quoted as saying that, “Jose is obviously a little bit disappointed that it’s going to be a matter of weeks as opposed to days, but it’s a completely, treatable, curable situation,” however, Minaya made sure to add, “there is no medication for this.”
The one thing Greenberg, Minaya, and I have in common is that none of us are doctors, so it is hard for any of us to speculate on a timeframe for such a rare medical occurrence. What I can offer you, however, are the noted symptoms of elevated thyroid levels, garnered from the National Library of Medicine and the Hormone Foundation:
- Digestive problems that can lead to unwanted weight loss
- Persistent fatigue, mental and physical weakness
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Sudden mood changes, increased nervousness or irritability
- Increases in skin sensitivity, especially in hot outdoor locations
- Sleep deprivation
For a baseball player who so heavily relies on speed and energy, this condition must be very scary. MLB’s grueling schedule could only worsen Reyes’ conditions if he doesn’t take the necessary time off.
It is imperative to note here that, while none of us like the Mets, this isn’t a strained hamstring or stinger we are discussing, it’s a relatively serious medical condition that should not be wished upon our worst enemies. We’re dignified in hoping for more Mets failures, but it is not justifiable to wish for anything but a full recovery for Reyes, a truly dynamic athlete who only adds fuel and excitement to the Phillies-Mets rivalry.
In addition to Reyes’ seeming inability to take the field on Opening Day, it has already been established that Carlos Beltran, following right knee surgery on January 13, will be sidelined for the first month of the 2010 season.
The Mets have a tough April schedule, including three games apiece against the Marlins, Rockies, Cardinals, Braves, and Dodgers, and four against the Cubs. Sixteen of the team’s first twenty-two games will take place at home, but given the dimensions of Citi Field, one wonders how much of an actual advantage will result.
The Phillies and Mets don’t face-off until April 30, the first of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. The teams only face each other six times before August 6, but have twelve contests from that point on.