A team official told Adam Rubin that Ruben Tejada is planning to return this month to a fitness and nutrition program near Ann Arbor, Mich. on Jan. 13. The 24-year old infielder spent four weeks in November at the program.
With the increasing likelihood that Tejada enters camp this Spring as the everyday shortstop, I asked some of our writers how they would feel about that scenario playing out.
What are your thoughts on Tejada as the starting shortstop in 2014?
Jim M. – I know there may not be a lot of Ruben fans, but unless the Mets are willing to pay big money for Stephen Drew I would be fine with him getting a second chance. He had a career low BABIP and also had his lowest K% in his career so I believe he will bounce back like he did after his poor 2010 season that had similar numbers.
Peter K. - I would rather give Ruben Tejada one more chance to shine at shortstop than sign Stephen Drew to a three year deal that he will NEVER live up to. I was happy to see the front office call him out for what seemed to be a player who was resting on his laurels from the previous year. Will it motivate him? Time will tell. But he is young enough, has not reached his prime, and could yet become a serviceable piece to the team.
Big Mets Fan – I’d be OK with having Ruben be the opening day shortstop. He was good two years ago before regressing last year. This is a make or break year for him, so he’ll be plenty motivated. If he’s not, he shouldn’t be here. And there’s nothing to say that if the Mets are in contention, they won’t upgrade mid season like pretty much every other contender out there.
Gerry – I believe that Reuben Tejada is young enough and has enough potential to take another chance on as a shortstop. I think some players simply need to mature in order to appreciate the opportunities they are given, and given his tools the Mets could do worse than to give him another flyer.
Andrew – Tejada has not done enough to warrant a starting role, but he might be our best option at SS nonetheless. Mets fans had to be excited when they heard the recent Stephen Drew whispers, but I’m still not buying it. Tejada has the skillset to be better than he played last year, so even if we don’t envision him as a long term answer I think it’s better to build up his value than it is to sell low. Best case scenario, Tejada hits .290 with decent defense and either cements himself as a starter or builds up his trade value. Worst case scenario, he’s still a decent backup middle-infielder.
Matthew B. – Yes, but he needs to be on a short leash. Here’s the thing about Rubin, last year, he didn’t hit much but the big issue was his fielding, which was awful. I can live with him not hitting a ton if he fields his position well, which I believe he’s capable of as long as he stops trying to “bulk up.”
Joe S. – I believe in second chances but you have to wonder why almost all of last season even after he was cleared to play after his injury, why the team chose to start a 30-something journeyman over Tejada? That speaks volumes about his work ethic I would assume and like Alderson has said recently not all decisions are financially based. But again, if Alderson wants to move Tejada and get the most for him, do you announce to the league that he’s lazy? I would prefer Asdrubal Cabrera but he may be too rich for the Mets’ blood.
John G. – Well the Mets haven’t done anything to really address this position so it looks like it will be Tejada’s. I haven’t really been sold on him entirely so I still say there is time to make a move to upgrade. I would suggest an early arrival at Spring Training so he can prove to the team that he is ready to be the guy.
Barry – The Mets need at least someone to compete with/push Tejada for the shortstop job. I wouldn’t give up on him, but the Mets can’t go into spring training with no alternative if Tejada doesn’t show enough to merit the full-time job.
Tom W. – Well, absent the budget or the will or the creativity to bring in a major league shortstop, Tejada on a second chance is probably the best move.
Jessep – With Tejada to me, it’s all about the glove and who is playing next to him. I don’t mind the guy if his glove keeps him in the lineup and his 2B counterpart is providing enough of a balance to make the middle formidable. My issue with him is his bat is nowhere near as good as Daniel Murphy and he hasn’t shown enough with his glove. I think he deserves a chance in Spring Training – but to pen him in as a starter in 2014 to me is a mistake.
Zack – For me, the question is not whether Ruben Tejada has done enough to be the starting shortstop, but rather who else if not him? If the Mets don’t add a shortstop (I hope they do), there isn’t much standing in Tejada’s way. Wilfredo Tovar has an outside chance but probably needs to start the season in Triple-A.