It’s Time to End the Ruben Tejada Era at Shortstop

An article by posted on April 16, 2014

New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Since the beginning of the 2013 MLB season there have been exactly seven shortstops to amass at least 250 plate appearances and had their services be worth a negative WAR value.  Of those seven shortstops, two are currently on the Mets active roster.  The Magnificent 7 are as follows:

  1. Adeiny Hechavarria: 640 PA,  -1.4 WAR
  2. Eduardo Nunez: 340 PA,  -1.4 WAR
  3. Ruben Tejada: 272 PA,  -0.8 WAR
  4. Ronny Cedeno: 288 PA,  -0.7 WAR
  5. Brendan Ryan: 349 PA,   -0.6 WAR
  6. Daniel Descalso: 376 PA,  -0.4 WAR
  7. Omar Quintanilla: 371 PA,  -0.2 WAR

The worst number on this list is the -1.4 put up by Hechavarria with the Marlins, but he is scorching hot to start the 2014 season, and 2013 was his first full season in the major leagues. 

You could also make a case that if Tejada would have amassed 640 plate appearances at his current rate of awfulness, he would have been worth -1.6 WAR over the same time period, with 3 more years of experience than the young Marlins SS.

Eduardo Nunez only played SS for the Yankees because Jeter was out for most of the 2013 season recovering from ankle surgery.  He has recently been released.

Brendan Ryan has been released a couple of times, but has never been known for his bat.  He is a dynamite defensive SS, and is currently a backup.

Ronny Cedeno has been released multiple times and hasn’t been seen as a starter for several years, although he has been much better than Tejada.

Daniel Descalso split time with Pete Kozma, who was pretty bad in his own right, as both were replaced by Jhonny Peralta this offseason by the Cardinals.

That leaves Omar Quintanilla, who is currently our own backup, as the only other negative contributor with at least 250 plate appearances in 2013-2014.  Embarrassingly, he has been far better than Tejada at the plate, and only slightly worse defensively.  I am at a total loss for words that the position was not upgraded this offseason.  WOW.

I thought there was absolutely no way that Tejada would be as bad this season as he was in 2013, but Tejada has taken futility to a whole new level, and somehow has proven to be worse than he was last year.

Amazingly, through 14 games, Tejada has compiled a -0.4 fWAR, easily the worst in baseball at the position in the early part of the season.  He’s not getting better folks.  He’s getting worse.

We all have the same feeling when his spot in the lineup is approaching.  Its an automatic out.  I actually have more faith in Niese, Wheeler or even the 41 year old punch line in the batters box Bartolo Colon, to contribute something offensively than I do Tejada.

Travis d’Arnaud won’t see a pitch he can do anything with as long as the auto-out Tejada is hitting behind him in the lineup.

Tejada is still very young, but the fact is that he isn’t very talented.  There just aren’t any tools that suggest he’ll ever be a decent player.  He will never be a threat on the basepaths.  He will never hit for power or extra bases.  He will never be an elite defensive glove, or have a rocket arm, or great range, or be able to make the amazing defensive play.  He is what he is. He’s really bad.  He’s the worst starting position player in the game by a landslide right now.  What makes matters worse is that he doesn’t seem to want to put in the extra effort to better himself. So why is he still clogging up the roster and lineup card at this point?

We are 7-7 with what looks like a team that may be able to hang around in the Wild Card race with all the promising young talent on the horizon.  How long can we keep our heads above water with the black hole that is consuming the shortstop position for our beloved New York Mets?

Sandy, please get a shortstop that is a major league baseball player on this roster, and lets compete.

Our fanbase needs a team we can be proud of.

Its time to cut the BS and play some baseball.  The monitoring period for who can and who cannot play has expired.  Its time for a new era at the SS position.

mmo

About the Author ()

I’ve been a die-hard Mets fan for 30 years. When I’m not watching Mets baseball, I’m talking or blogging about it. My favorite Mets story is about the bottom of the 10th, Game 6, ‘86 series. The Kid, Kevin Mitchell, & Ray Knight all said the same thing, verbatim, at 1B. “I wasn’t making the last out of this f’n World series.”

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