Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

The Reyes rehab: Just what the Bisons asked from the Blue Jays

Jose Reyes was all smiles when he first tried on his Blue Jays cap over the winter. Now he'll be getting fit for a Bisons lid Friday night (Getty Images)

By Mike Harrington

Getting big-name players from the big club to spend part of their injury rehabilitation assignments in Buffalo was certainly the hope when the Bisons signed on with the Toronto Blue Jays last fall, and the Jays are already making good on that promise.

Josh Johnson made two starts for the Herd last month and now comes the word Buffalo fans -- and most folks in the Bisons front office -- have been waiting for: All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes will be manning his normal spot on the diamond for the Herd beginning Friday night.

The Bisons play the Durham Bulls here Friday night at 7, Saturday night at 6 and Sunday afternoon at 1. As previously scheduled, Saturday is Star Wars Night and only about 3,500 tickets remain. The traditional Friday night crowd will almost certainly swell now and Sunday could be a good house as well, meaning a gate of 40,000+ for the weekend is certainly possible.

As rehab assignments go, this will be the biggest one in Buffalo since Manny Ramirez spent three days here in 2001 at the height of the Cleveland era.

Reyes will fly from Dunedin to Toronto on Thursday and then drive to Buffalo to be here for Friday's series opener against Durham, which leads the South Division and swept the Bisons in a four-game set earlier this month.

"It's one of the big benefits of being so geographically close," said Bisons General Manager Mike Buczkowski. "Now you have one of their top players Who can fly from Dunedin to Toronto, then just drive down to Buffalo to play in his games.  You look around minor-league baseball and it's the Triple-A teams that get the marquee players. It's great for us and will be great for our fans that we're on that list now to."

Reyes, out since April 12 with a severe ankle sprain, is the key player Toronto acquired from the Miami Marlins over the winter and a major reason many experts picked the Blue Jays to go to the World Series. His absence is also a key reason they started 10-21.

"Everybody was excited about having him," said manager Marty Brown. "It was unfortunate he got hurt. It's part of the game but it's too bad because he was a main cog in that whole winter and then all of a sudden you lose him for an extended period of time. He's the type of guy who leads by example on the field. His professionalism and work ethic is what I saw in the spring. Any time you take a piece of the puzzle that has that much professionalism and plug it into your clubhouse, it's definitely a positive in all aspects."

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet has the word out of Toronto on Reyes after John Gibbons' pregame presser today.


Bisons/Blue Jays
comments powered by Disqus

About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |