The Toronto Blue Jays lost more than just their season opener on Monday afternoon, in their 9-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Jays also lost their starting shortstop. It came just one at-bat into the game, as lead off hitter Jose Reyes flied out to centerfielder Desmond Jennings to being the game, he felt his hamstring tighten up and proceeded to remove himself from the game.
Jose Reyes had been battling hamstring tightness in the Jays final games of Spring Training, missing 5 games after injuring his hamstring in a game against the Detroit Tigers on a Sunday. Reyes went on to test out his hamstring in the Jays two exhibition games in Montreal at Olympic Stadium, and felt he was good to go for the Jays season opener.
However that did not turn out to be the case as Jose Reyes said post-game (via MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm):
Reyes: “I thought I could play through it. Sometimes you’re not 100% and you feel like you can play, but that wasn’t the case.” #BlueJays
— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) March 31, 2014
Reyes was originally scheduled to have another MRI before the Blue Jays made their decision, however later this evening it was decided that Jose Reyes would begin the season on the 15-day DL. This marks the 2nd straight season that Reyes will begin his season as a Blue Jay on the DL in April–last season he twisted and popped his ankle in early April and ended up missing more than 2 months on the DL. Reyes only played 93 games in his first season on the Blue Jays.
In his place, the Blue Jays decided between infielders Munenori Kawasaki and Jonathan Diaz to replace Reyes at shortstop, the team ultimately went with the 28 year old Diaz, who will now have a chance to make his Blue Jays debut. Diaz has played in 5 major league games in 2013 with the Boston Red Sox before signing and returning to the team that originally drafted him.
Diaz played in 23 Spring Training games with the Blue Jays, with only 3 hits in 32 plate appearances.
Jonathan Diaz spent most of 2013 in AAA Pawtucket, batting .253/.358/.316 in 399 plate appearances.