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Mets must move away from Jose Reyes for a while

The veteran third baseman has been unable to produce at the plate or in the field this season.
Mets third baseman Jose Reyes waits for a pitch during an April game against the Atlanta Braves. (Getty Images)
Jose Reyes' horrid start to the 2017 season could lead to an extended stay on the bench. (Photo: Getty Images)

For a team that is expected to make a serious push for the National League East title and even the World Series, the Mets have looked incredibly inconsistent over the first few weeks of the season.

Among the multitude of problems the club is facing is third baseman Jose Reyes, whose start to 2017 could only be described as abysmal; or any other type of synonym you would prefer to use.

In his first 14 games this season, he has recorded just five hits in 50 at-bats. For those who went to school for anything but math like I did, that’s a .100 batting average.

Things were looking up for him momentarily during Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies after he smacked a double in the fourth inning, but everything came crashing down at the game’s most pivotal moment.

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Leading 2-1 in the top of the eighth inning, Mets reliever Fernando Salas got two quick outs before walking Cameron Rupp. He looked like he was about to get out of the inning when he got Freddy Galvis to pop up to Reyes at third.

Like most April nights at Citi Field, the wind certainly altered the flight of the ball, but it provided little solace to Mets fans that saw Reyes basically hit the ball into fair territory after it popped out of his glove.

Rupp moved to third and the inning continued, setting up Andres Blanco’s game-tying double. Philadelphia would go on to win in 10 innings, delivering the Mets their fourth-straight loss.

Many will argue that it’s early in the season and Reyes will work his way out of this major slump. But the Mets can’t wait too long.

With their first 32 games coming against NL East opponents, New York has a chance to stake its claim as divisional favorites with a strong showing. A .500 record through 14 games isn’t exactly doing that nor will it make the Mets a playoff team.

Manager Terry Collins insists that he will not give up on Reyes, but the Mets need their best product on the field right away. Reyes simply is not a part of that winning formula yet.

Even though the last two games of their series against the Phillies are opposite right-handed pitchers, Collins should start lefty-killing Wilmer Flores at third and give Reyes the next two or three days off in order to get his head and swing right.