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Notes: Reyes improving
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04/01/2004  9:18 PM ET
Notes: Reyes improving
Infielder enjoys solid workout
Jose Reyes proclaimed his bothersome hamstring much better Thursday. (Evan Vucci/AP)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jose Reyes turned on fastball after fastball Thursday in batting practice, ripping shots to all parts of Tradition Field. He also jogged a little, took grounders and joked around with reporters.

While his aching right hamstring had him on the verge of tears Wednesday, it certainly appeared to pose little problem 24 hours later. Reyes, who had talked about needing a break and perhaps going on the disabled list, proclaimed that he was feeling better and that he had no idea what was going on with his hamstring just a day earlier.

New York general manager Jim Duquette said that no decision had been made on whether Reyes would indeed be placed on the disabled list, adding that he wants to wait and see how Reyes is feeling Friday.

Reyes practically collapsed on Wednesday while taking batting practice, saying that he felt pain in his landing leg as he tried to pull the ball while batting left-handed. He looked sharp Thursday afternoon, though, going through several rounds of BP before sprinting out to participate in infield drills.

"Today I feel good," said Reyes, who added that the club wasn't trying to rush him back. "I don't know what happened yesterday. I'm so happy. Yesterday I almost cried. I had no idea what happened. I tried to pull the ball from the left side today and didn't feel anything. I started off swinging free and easy and then I started to pull the ball."

Though Reyes certainly appeared to have improved overnight, both physically and mentally, it's still unlikely he will be ready for Opening Day. He will run some more Friday and Saturday, expecting to push a little harder each day. But he has not played in 18 days so the thought that he would be game ready by Tuesday is a bit of a stretch, regardless of how good he felt Thursday.

"I feel like I'm ready but I have to play in some games to be in the lineup," Reyes said. "Maybe they'll send me to the minor leagues to play in some games. I haven't played in almost three weeks. I'm happy, though. I want to be out there like everyone else."

Duquette said that Reyes could speed up his work but said that his being ready for Opening Day was too hard to predict because Reyes' recovery has brought different news every day.

This and that: The Mets will explore the possibility of trading for Milton Bradley, the disgruntled Cleveland outfielder who walked out on the Indians earlier this week. Reportedly, the Indians will seek to trade Bradley within 72 hours. It is unclear what the Mets would have to give up for Bradley, a lifetime .264 hitter who hit .321 in 101 games last year for the Tribe. Don't expect Roger Cedeno to be part of the deal, though. The Indians are looking to keep payroll down and Cedeno is owed $10 million over the next two years. Bradley is set to make $1.1 million this year. ... The Mets optioned out James Baldwin, Aaron Heilman and Matt Ginter prior to the game against Baltimore and then re-assigned Raul Gonzalez and optioned out Danny Garcia after the game. ... Manager Art Howe said after Thursday's 4-1 loss to Baltimore that he's considering moving Kaz Matsui out of the leadoff spot if the team's offense doesn't improve. Matsui is batting .167 this spring with 17 strikeouts. ... The Italian National team played against a team comprised of Mets minor leaguers Thursday afternoon at the Tradition Field complex.

Kevin Czerwinski is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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