ANAHEIM, Calif. -- David Wright was looking out for Jose Reyes' well-being on Saturday when the New York Mets third baseman interrupted the seventh inning of an important game against the Atlanta Braves to summon the training staff to the field.
Reyes had been playing despite a right oblique injury. And Wright spotted the shortstop wince on a long throw from the outfield grass to first base and knew something wasn't right with his longtime teammate and fellow All-Star selection.
"It's not my body, so I don't know exactly what he's feeling. I also don't know what he's telling other people that he's feeling," Wright said Monday afternoon at a press conference at the Anaheim Marriott, as Reyes sat at an adjacent table, conducting his own interviews. "But if there's any chance that he could do any more damage to himself, or if there's a chance maybe it's not best for the team for him to be out there, I think ultimately somebody needs to say something and avoid him hurting himself, because he's going to want to be out there to play and he's going to want to be out there trying to do things that maybe he shouldn't."
Had Wright not intervened, would anyone else have? Wright indicated over the weekend he didn't know the answer. It's certainly debatable.
Even Wright used the word "surprising" when describing his reaction to learning the switch-hitting Reyes was allowed to swing a bat from his troublesome left side on Sunday, the day after being pulled from the game by manager Jerry Manuel once Wright spoke up. The Mets consistently have suggested Reyes can do no additional harm to the oblique area with baseball activity. But with the team idle until Thursday, perhaps giving Reyes some idle time would give the muscle a better chance to heal than allowing relatively uninterrupted swinging.
"I'm not even claiming to be a doctor, or anything of a doctor," Wright said. "It's obviously a little surprising. But, again, I don't know what he's feeling. And I don't know what the pain threshold is like. And I don't know exactly what is wrong with him, or if it can get any worse. Hopefully there's a plan in place, and hopefully they're following the plan. But the bottom line is I want to see him healthy in the second half."
Asked point-blank how his employer allows a player who left a game on Saturday to swing a bat the following day, especially given the organization's spring-training emphasis on conservatism in injury rehab, Wright -- generally the most politically-correct Met -- said, "I didn't know he took batting practice, but that's a good question for whoever makes those calls."
Reyes said he was not planning to pick up a bat on Monday -- just have a front-row view as his longtime friend, Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, competed in the Home Run Derby. But Reyes said he was planning to swing in a cage Tuesday at Angel Stadium while under the care of the National League's trainers.
It marked the second time among Reyes' three All-Star selections that he attended the event and was inactive. In 2006, when Reyes and Wright were first-time All-Stars, Reyes had to sit because of a late-first-half injury to his left pinkie that required seven stitches.
"It's frustrating for me, but at the same time I have to understand I have some kind of injury," Reyes said. "I have to be ready for the second half for my team because they need me. But I'm still going to enjoy everything I do here."
Reyes is targeting Thursday's second-half opener in San Francisco for his return to the lineup, but acknowledged "it's too soon to say" whether he will actually be able to compete.
"I'm going to get treatment here these two days and see how I feel on Thursday," he said.
Because it was too painful to swing from the left side of the plate, Reyes has been facing right-handed pitching from the right side of the plate in the four games since he returned from the injury, which he originally suffered June 30 during batting practice. He is unsure whether he will be able to bat left-handed from the get-go when he does return.
"I don't know. It's too soon to say," Reyes said. "Hopefully I can be able to hit from the left side by then, but I don't know yet."
Reyes doesn't think he did any damage on the long throw Saturday.
"I've been playing with pain," he noted.
Said Wright: "He's obviously hurt. There's no question. Just his mannerisms, the way he plays the game, you could tell something was bothering him. I talked to Jose and he said there were some things bothering him. And I know how important he is going to be for us in the second half. I just wanted the trainers to come out and talk to him and take a look at him. It's nothing more than taking a look at him and seeing the grimace on his face and knowing that he's hurt and wanting to make sure that he's healthy and there for us in the second half."