NEW YORK -- The Mets lost another crucial piece of their lineup on Monday, when shortstop Jose Reyes was placed on the bereavement list following the death of his grandmother in his native Dominican Republic. Reyes is expected to be out for three to seven days, forcing the Mets to plot a path without the services of their leadoff hitter.
New York is already without injured regulars David Wright and Ike Davis, and adding Reyes to the list of the missing -- even temporarily -- gives manager Terry Collins yet another challenge to overcome. Youngster Ruben Tejada will likely fill in at shortstop for Reyes over the next few days, and to take Reyes' roster spot, the Mets activated right-handed reliever Bobby Parnell from the disabled list.
"With Jose out of the lineup for a few days, we've really got to rally around each other," said Collins. "We've got to understand that it's going to take everybody that's on that bench and in that lineup to get the job done. It's a group of good guys. They like each other [and] they support each other. I don't know if I've been around a group of guys that support each other as much as these guys do.
"There have been times where I've taken a guy out and put a pinch-hitter in, and the guy I took out is the first one to say, 'Hey, go get them. Get a hit here. Pick me up.' And that's the mentality here."
Reyes isn't just New York's leadoff man, he's been its hottest hitter of late. Reyes leads the Major Leagues with 26 multihit games and 76 hits, and he also has the best home batting average (.398) of any player in either league. He's hit .459 (17-for-37) in his last eight games, and the Mets will juggle their lineup for the best possible effect.
Willie Harris was slotted as the leadoff man against the Pirates on Monday, with Angel Pagan remaining in the heart of the order.
"He's been the catalyst, certainly, of this club -- probably the entire year," said Collins of Reyes. "This is a huge loss for us, even for three or four or five days, whatever it's going to be. It's hard to replace him. I know that Ruben will play great defense. And no disrespect to Willie -- we're going to lead him off, and hopefully he has a big night tonight, which would be great -- but it's pretty hard to replace a guy that can do the things Jose does on a daily basis. We're just going to do the best we can."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.