This Day In Marlins History: Happy Birthday Jose Reyes

You should be clapping, Jose. It's your birthday! Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

In Fish Stripes' continued attempt to remind people of the past of the Florida Marlins along with the present and future of theMiami Marlins, we bring you a new feature published three or so times a week entitledThis Day In Marlins History! The concept itself is very simple: whenever we publish this, we find an interesting fact or tidbit related to the Florida / Miami Marlins and write a little bit about that event.

Today, on June 11, 1983, your Miami Marlins starting shortstop, Jose Reyes, was born!

Of course, for the longest time, this was not something the Marlins celebrated, as Reyes was a member of the New York Mets back then. As a Met, Reyes has faced the Marlins plenty of times in his career. He has 547 career PA against the Fish, third among all the teams in baseball that he has faced behind only the Phillies and Braves. In that time, the Fish had done a good job against him, holding to a .262/.315/.405 slash line that was 15 percent worse than his career OPS.

Then of course, Reyes eventually hit free agency following a career-best season, and there were many discussions about how much he could get in the market and what team would be willing to pay a large sum for his services. It turned out it was the Marlins, who signed him to a six-year, $104 million deal.

Reyes's signing met a lot of excitement, but his early season did not go well. He hit just .220/.293/.341 in the month of April, but it generally seemed like Marlins fans were not as concerned about Reyes as they were about many of their other, younger pieces. With the entire team save Omar Infante playing poorly, fans were relatively quiet about Reyes's struggles, and with good reason. Reyes was struggling with some problems on balls in play, but his strikeouts and walks were right in line with his career work.

Sure enough, the folks who were not worried about Reyes, myself included, were about right, because Reyes has done really well since then. In May, he was a part of the offensive bounceback, batting .297/.398/.339 (.336 wOBA). He is continuing to get back into a usual swing of things. Reyes had a 15-game hitting streak going in between late May and early June, and since the start of May he has hit a more Reyes-like .315/.395/.393 (.361 wOBA). Since May, he has been exactly what the Marlins expected to see, and there is no reason why the team would regret having him on board in terms of on-field performance. In addition, off the field, Reyes played a hand in helping Hanley Ramirez's successful transition to third base, if only because Reyes was so supportive and friendly with Ramirez that the two became best friends over the offseason.

Yes, today, in 1983, Jose Reyes was born. Twenty-nine years later, he is the starting shortstop for the Miami Marlins, and the team could not be happier. Happy birthday Jose! LO VISTE!

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