NL East Update: Will Jose Reyes be ready? Can Cox bring back the Braves?

MetsBlog recaps the first day of camp for shortstop Jose Reyes. An elevated thyroid level is what has kept Reyes out, and restricted him from doing any baseball related activities.

This is certainly great news for the Mets as they get their star shortstop back weeks before his previously expected return. What a relief, even though Reyes has been sitting on a couch the past three weeks meaning he will have to spend even more time getting back into baseball shape. Now the question on everyone’s mind is if he will be ready for Opening Day. There is no need to push an already fragile Reyes so he can play in the first few weeks of April, elevating his already high risk of injury. Until then, the battle for the position between Alex Cora and Ruben Tejeda continues…

Meanwhile, Mets Merized looks at an interesting situation developing in the race for the centerfield job between Gary Matthews Jr. and Angel Pagan. Statistically, Matthews should win the job but rumors have begun circulating that now the team is using him as trade bait to acquire another starting pitcher.

Although Matthews has put up the more impressive numbers in March, we need to remember that this is only spring. It is unfair to think Pagan’s .212 spring average is a reflection of the type of hitter he is or represents his true value to the team. With Beltran out until at least mid-May, it really doesn’t matter if you have Matthews or Pagan patrolling center, so the only thing to do now is trade the one who you will be able to get the most out of. There have already been reports of a deal with the Reds, which would give the Mets that much needed starting pitcher in exchange for Matthews.

Braves Blast wonders how good the 2010 Braves are going to be. Atlanta went a respectable 86-76 to finish in 3rd place, 7 games behind division winner Philadelphia. bobby-cox-retiring-2010With many of the same faces coming back, Atlanta is predicted to be an 85-90 win team.

With Bobby Cox planning on stepping down as manager after the season, Braves fans will be happy with the 2010 squad as Philadelphia could meet their match for the division’s top team. Jair Jurrjeins, Tommy Hanson, Yunel Escobar, and now Jason Heyward highlight the bright future this team holds. Cox is no stranger to developing young players, even when they were winning division titles year after year, he was still producing household names such as Andruw Jones, Rafael Furcal, and Jeff Francoeur. Expect the dormant franchise to wake up as a potential sleeper for the 2010 season.

FishStripes recaps the latest roster moves made by the Marlins, and take a look at their bullpen situation.

Florida made two moves on Tuesday, sending pitcher Hunter Jones down to New Orleans, and cutting former Nationals pitcher, Mike MacDougal. Having signed a minor league contract with the team only a month ago, it is sad to see MacDougal get the axe again because as he has not been able to recreate the brief success he had while in Kansas City. The Marlins have several different avenues they could follow for the final spot in the bullpen. Tim Wood and Clay Hensley are considered to be the favorites as Wood has had an impressive spring.