Collins Says Quintanilla Will Remain Starter At SS When Tejada Comes Back


The question has been asked and answered…

Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to reporters today and said that Ruben Tejada will have to earn back his starting shortstop job when he returns from the disabled list. Unless he can do that, Omar Quintanilla has earned the right to keep the job, Collins said.

“Based on what we’ve seen right now, Ruben’s gotta earn it back,” Collins said before the game against the Rockies.  “He’s gotta go play, get his game together, and get himself in really top shape. We know he can, but there there is no reason why we’re gonna take this kid [Quintanilla] out of the lineup unless it’s fatigue right now. He’s played very, very well offensively and defensively.”

Collins raved about Quintanilla saying, “You  look at yesterday’s game, he made three plays that might have saved the game for us. “To tell a guy who has come up like he has hit and played defense like he’s played and that all the sudden he doesn’t have a job? He’s earned a right to be out there right now.”

What are your thoughts?

Original Post 7/27

Yesterday, it was reported that Ruben Tejada would be cleared to begin a rehab assignment with the GCL Mets and that he would work his way up to Triple-A Las Vegas before being called up. Tejada was placed on the DL on May 30th, but there was a lot more going on back then outside of the injury.

As Joe D. pointed out yesterday, Tejada was in a horrendous slump at the time of his injury and was batting .209/.267/.262 for the season.”

Yikes, .209/.267/.262? That’s a painful line to look at. On the flip side of things, Omar Quintanilla has been settling in as our starting shortstop by flashing the leather on many occasions — and answering the call on offense as well. Around the time of Tejada’s injury, Quintanilla was tearing it up in AAA with a .333/.419/.484 line while Ruben was in the midst of his slump. There was talk about demoting Tejada to Triple-A and bringing up Quintanilla anyway — so it seemed like everything worked out alright at the time.

So if you’re the Mets, what do you do with Ruben Tejada going ahead? If Quintanilla continues to at least play replacement level baseball at shortstop, the rehab assignment for Tejada will work out to be quite interesting. Considering that the rehab involves seeing some time in Las Vegas on the back end, his performance there may go a long way in determining what his fate is going forward. If the Mets were willing to pull the trigger and send Ike Davis down, then Tejada is surely not guaranteed a spot on the MLB team if he isn’t producing.

I know some will argue that this is a lost season and that Tejada should be allowed to work out his problems in the major leagues, because he was an ex-starter and Quintanilla is a career back-up. But all you have to do is think back to Tejada’s struggles earlier to this season to recall why it’s time for a demotion to the minors, and the injury may have furthered hampered his offensive production this season. I say we let Tejada hammer out his kinks in Las Vegas for a few weeks while Quintanilla continues to start.

We often forget that Tejada is a 23-year old MLB player and still has many years ahead of him — and a stint in the minors makes more sense sooner rather than later.