ATLANTA -- When Jose Reyes signed a six-year, $106 million deal with the Marlins this winter, the last thing he expected was to be the only remaining starting infielder from Opening Night still on the roster come August.
But the 29-year old four-time All-Star shortstop hasn't let the changes around him phase him. Despite a rough first half (.264, 3 HRs, 22 RBI), he's rebounded nicely since the All-Star Break (.347, 4 HRs, 8 RBI) and carried a 19-game hitting steak into Thursday's game.
"That’s how baseball is some times. Baseball is crazy," he said Tuesday. "It’s shocking because we went to spring training with high expectations. That team we had on opening day was a pretty good team. But we were not able to put everything together, stay in the hunt and compete. As a player, it is what it is, you need to continue to play, continue to go on the field, don’t worry about what happened, how many guys the team is trading. You just need to need to continue to stay focused on the field and continue to do our job."
Reyes believes despite the changes there is still enough talent on the team for the Marlins to remain competitive this season and win in the future.
"We still have some pieces," Reyes said. "[Giancarlo] Stanton is coming back. We still have JJ here. [Mark] Buehrle, he’s capable when he takes the ball. We need to put it together and be consistent on a daily basis. If we are able to do that we are going to win a lot of ball games."
With close friend Hanley Ramirez now with the Dodgers, Reyes was asked if he would assume what was once Ramirez's role as the face of the franchise.
"Yes," he said. "I notice a lot of young guys on this ballclub like to see me play. They can take me as an example, just the way I play the game. I want to give everything I have to help this organization to win a lot of ballgames."
Manager Ozzie Guillen said Reyes sets a good example for his teammates to follow.
"He goes about his business the way it should be," Guillen said. "I don't think he should care about what's around him. He's a guy who has hit .340 in the past. Even though he struggled, you look at every game he hits the ball hard. He plays the same way every time. Reyes can be 0 for 4, or 4 for 5, but you can't even see it because he always play the same way, the same attitude."