Apr 12, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes (7) steals second base in the sixth inning against Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar (2) in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Target End of June For Reyes Return

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Not counting Friday’s shut-out at the hands of Hiroki Kuroda, the Toronto Blue Jays offense has been raking of late. All that has lead to a ton of “What If?” questions regarding the return of injured shortstop and lead-off man Jose Reyes, and his insertion into a clicking offense.

Well, we can start counting down toward that answer.

As reported by Gregor Chisholm, Reyes has been steadily progressing in his recovery from a severe ankle sprain, suffered on April 12th, and is starting to ramp up his rehabilitation.

With the walking boot now removed, Reyes joined the team in New York for stretching and throwing. He has also begun hitting off a tee and could begin running again by the end of next week.

That’s good news for Toronto, as that puts Reyes on target for a end of June return to the Blue Jays. He’ll return sporting a .395 batting average, a .991 OPS, and an innate ability to create havoc on the basepaths, all of which the Jays have missed in the lead-off spot since Reyes’s injury.

What will be an interesting will be the impact of a Reyes return on the remaining infielders on the roster. None of the current trio of Munenori Kawasaki, Emilio Bonifacio, or Maicer Izturis have been a revelation in the middle of the diamond, especially Bonifacio and Izturis, who have struggled immensely this season.

Kawasaki has endeared himself to the fan-base, but a quirky personality doesn’t always translate to roster security either. And while I personally would have no issue with the loss of either Izturis or Bonifacio, but their track records and salaries suggest that neither is likely to go anywhere. Still, I can’t imagine the backlash over cutting Kawasaki either.

Regardless, the return of Reyes would be welcomed, even if it truly is over a month away. If these current Blue Jays can build on their current run, that will make his return that much more meaningful to the 2013 result.

And in my mind, that is what we are still playing for right, 2013?

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