Blue Jays' Reyes hopes to be more himself this year

Blue Jays' Reyes hopes to be more himself this year
February 27, 2014, 9:30 am
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(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports)

Jose Reyes wants everyone to know that Toronto didn’t see the real Jose Reyes last season. Because of a sprained knee he suffered 10 games in, the speedy shortstop was more like a Jose Reyes Lite, limping his way through 2013. But he expects to show the Blue Jays the real thing this season.

"Last year was kind of tough for me when I came back, because I had to limit myself in a lot of stuff that when I'm pain-free, I'm able to do," Reyes said, as reported by mlb.com. "Stealing, hitting a triple and stuff like that. Last year I wasn't able to do that, but thank God I went through the offseason working extra hard on my ankle to get it stronger. Now I'm 100 percent, and I can't wait to get onto the field and play like the Jose Reyes from before."

Reyes played 93 games in 2013, putting up a more than respectable .296 batting average and .353 on-base percentage. He still managed 15 stolen bases, though he had 40 in 2012 in a full season for the Miami Marlins. However, Reyes hit no triples in 2013 after totaling 12 the previous season.

Reyes’ limited play contributed to making the Blue Jays last year’s biggest disappointment in the majors. They never contended after stocking up on talent — Reyes, outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitchers Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson  — in the offseason. But at least they get another shot at succeeding, unlike what happened with Reyes in Miami, when the Marlins unloaded the roster after one season when it didn’t produce a winner.

"In Miami, we didn't have that opportunity,” Reyes said. “Well, they traded me after the first year, so I didn't have that opportunity. Here, it's a little bit different. We know we had a tough year, a disappointing year, but at least we have the same guys here that went through it last year. I think this year we're going to be way better."