Tag: Ruben Tejada

Ruben Tejada to Cardinals: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Saturday they reached an agreement with infielder Ruben Tejada on a one-year contract.

The Cardinals confirmed the addition on their official Twitter feed. Tejada joins St. Louis after the New York Mets released him earlier in the week. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Tejada will earn $1.5 million in 2016.

He was the odd man out in New York after the Mets retooled their infield with the additions of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, leaving Tejada and Wilmer Flores to fill the same role.

Although Cabrera is currently battling a knee injury, the Mets decided to release Tejada, a 26-year-old natural shortstop, anyway likely due to the financial implications. Adam Rubin of ESPN.com reported they’ll have to pay less than $500,000 rather than be on the hook for Tejada’s $3 million base salary.

Matt Ehalt of the Record highlighted a possible unintended consequence of the move, though:

The fact Tejada ended up with the Cardinals certainly doesn’t come as a surprise. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs even wrote an article shortly after the infielder was placed on waivers entitled, “Ruben Tejada, Inevitable Cardinal.”

St. Louis recently lost starting shortstop Jhonny Peralta to a thumb injury that could cost him the entire first half of the campaign. Add in the fact the Cardinals had success over the years plugging versatile players like Tejada into their system, and it was a likely match.

The Panama native gets on base at a solid clip (.338 OBP in 2015, .330 for his career) but doesn’t do much else offensively. His career high in both home runs and stolen bases is just five. But his ability to fill holes around the infield gives him value.

He’ll likely be given a chance to win the starting shortstop job during the final weeks of spring training. Aledmys Diaz, Jedd Gyorko and Greg Garcia are among the other players who have tried to earn more playing time in Peralta’s absence.

All told, it’s a solid value signing for a Cardinals club that needed more depth on the infield. Tejada won’t put up big numbers, but he’s capable of serving as a reliable placeholder until Peralta returns.


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Ruben Tejada Released by Mets: Latest Comments, Reaction

The New York Mets placed infielder Ruben Tejada on waivers Tuesday and released him Wednesday after he went unclaimed, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Adam Rubin of ESPN.com noted other teams are now free to sign Tejada, with the Mets on the hook for less than $500,000.

The 26-year-old Panamanian split time between shortstop, second base and third base for the Mets last season. He posted a solid .338 on-base percentage, but finished with just three home runs and two stolen bases in 116 games.

It looked like he was in line to compete for the Opening Day shortstop gig with Cabrera recovering from a left knee injury. This move suggests the Mets will move forward with Wilmer Flores for the time being, while letting Tejada go would also create some financial flexibility.

The natural shortstop didn’t want to discuss the situation when asked about it over the weekend, per Rubin.

“I can’t make the decision here,” Tejada said. “My mentality here is only to stay focused and do my job. They know what they have to do.”

Tejada and Flores would be in line to fill the same role when everybody is healthy, so taking one of them out of the equation to save money makes sense. With that said, there’s some risk involved should more infield injuries begin to mount before Cabrera is cleared to return.

The roster move also comes just as Tejada’s bat was starting to heat up in spring training. The Mets highlighted a double against the Miami Marlins on Sunday:

Tejada isn’t worth a long-term starting spot, but he’s a valuable bench asset thanks to his defensive versatility.


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Ruben Tejada Injury: Updates on Mets Shortstop’s Leg and Recovery

The New York Mets announced shortstop Ruben Tejada suffered a fractured right fibula following a takeout slide from Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley in the seventh inning of Saturday night’s National League Division Series matchup.

Continue for updates.

Matt Reynolds Reportedly Replaces Tejada On Roster

Sunday, Oct. 11

Joe Trezza of MLB.com noted Reynolds would be the second player in the modern era to make his debut in the postseason.

The shortstop and second baseman hit .267 across stints with the GCL Mets and Triple-A Las Vegas this season.

Utley Apologizes, Had No Intent to Injure Tejada

Sunday, Oct. 11

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported, “Utley sent an apology to Tejada [Saturday] night through a player on the Mets that he knows well. Intent was not to injure.

Utley later spoke to Rosenthal about the play, saying: “In no way shape or form was I trying to hurt Ruben. I slid in hard like I have for 12 years. I feel terrible about the outcome. I’ve reached out to Ruben via David Wright.”

“I had no intent to hurt him whatsoever, but I did have the intent to break up the double play,” Utley said after the game, per Mark Herrmann of Newsday. “Utley acknowledged that he had watched a replay. When he was asked if what he saw constituted a late slide, he said, ‘I thought the whole play happened fast,'” per Herrmann.

Collins Comments on Utley’s Style of Play

Sunday, Oct. 11

Mets manager Terry Collins stayed even-keeled when questioned about the slide, telling reporters that Utley, “Broke my shortstop’s leg. I’m not going to get into it (if slide was clean),” per the Los Angeles Times‘ Bill Shaikin.

Collins also told reporters Utley plays “with great passion and great aggression,” according to the Wall Street Journal‘s Jared Diamond

Torre’s Immediate Thoughts on Utley’s Slide

Sunday, Oct. 11

“It certainly was late,” MLB official Joe Torre said, according to the Orange County Register‘s Pedro Moura. “That concerns me, the lateness of the slide. We’re still talking about it.”

Tejada Carted off Field

Saturday, Oct. 10 

Tejada’s leg was immobilized and placed in an air cast after the shortstop laid on the field for several minutes.

The intentions behind Utley’s takeout slide are already being debated fiercely. Colorado Rockies and former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes didn’t hesitate to offer his opinion:

Tejada has primarily operated as a shortstop this season, logging 618 innings at the position during the regular season. However, New York could also count on him in a pinch to fill in at second or third base, where he played 98 and 156.1 innings, respectively, per Baseball-Reference.com.

Wilmer Flores now projects as the Mets’ full-time starting shortstop for the remainder of the postseason. While Flores isn’t the fielder Tejada is, he packs more power at the plate and can provide the Mets offense with an added dimension as they seek to take a 2-1 series lead when the scene shifts to Citi Field on Monday.

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New York Mets: What Has to Go Right to Escape 4th Place?

Despite signing Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract this offseason, the New York Mets are still not expected to push past the Atlanta Braves or the Washington Nationals in the National League East. 

But while ousting the Braves and Nationals would be far-fetched, third place is a very attainable outcome for the Mets—that is, only if a few scenarios come to fruition. 

For instance, the Mets need shortstop Ruben Tejada to be a producer in 2014. And even though Tejada will never be Jose Reyes, the team simply needs the 24-year-old to be league average—not the Mendoza Line hitter he was in 2013.

Read on to see all the scenarios that must go right for the Mets to escape fourth place in the National League East.


All statistics sourced from Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs.

OPS+ and bWAR are sourced from Baseball-Reference. wRC+, DRS, UZR/150 and ZiPS/Steamer/Oliver projections from FanGraphs.

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New York Mets: Is Rubén Tejada a Long-Term Solution at Shortstop?

Jose Reyes returned to CitiField Tuesday night for the first time since he sold his considerable shortstop talents to the Miami Marlins. He heard more boos than cheers, and he continued to struggle at the plate.

His replacement, Rubén Tejada, had a boo-worthy night himself. He struck out three times and failed to execute a sacrifice in the last of the 8th with the score tied at 1. The Mets ended up scoring in the inning and won the game, 2-1.

Going into the 2012 season, the Mets knew that Tejada was not going to be another Reyes. He’s not as speedy and he’s not likely to overtake Reyes as National League batting champ. Tejada is, however, off to a much better start at the plate than Reyes, who went hitless in four at-bats Tuesday night. His batting average dropped to an astonishing .215. His slow start aside, losing a player of Reyes’ caliber leaves a big hole in the Mets infield.

That’s no knock at Tejada. So far in his young career, Tejada has been a serviceable shortstop. He’s good with the glove, he usually gets on base on way or another, and his batting average will continue to hover in the .250 to .270 range.  He’s calm and measured beyond his 22 years, and his teammates praise his demeanor and determination.

So barring injury or a trade, Tejada is the starting shortstop for this season. But is he just a stopgap shortstop, or can the Mets rely on him for the foreseeable future?

It depends on what the Mets expect and are willing to accept from Tejada.

He’s big-league material for sure. But he has yet to live up to the predictions of scouts who touted him as exceptional when he joined the Mets two years ago.

Many baseball observers and fans have urged patience. Tejada might still develop into a quality shortstop.

But the Mets did him wrong by bringing him up to the bigs too soon. The Mets would have been neither hurt nor improved two years ago had they allowed Tejada another season of seasoning in Triple-A. Now Tejada has to do his post-graduate work in the New York spotlight.

At Tejada’s age, Reyes was already firmly established as a premier shortstop, and he was an All-Star at 23. The Mets say there’s no pressure on Tejada to match Reyes’ early career achievements, but it’s hard to shake the sense that the Mets are expecting too much too soon from Tejada.

Whatever happens, Tejada is the Mets 2012 shortstop, if not by talent, then by default. Ronny Cedeño is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a strained chest muscle. He’ll be back to spot Tejada when needed.

Unless the Mets acquire another infielder, it looks like Tejada will continue at short beyond this season, again, by default. Wilmer Flores, who was being groomed as the shortstop of the future when he joined the Mets organization three years ago, hasn’t panned out. He’s still a top prospect, but it appears that his future (if he has one in the majors) is at first base.

Beyond that, the Mets’ farm system is filled with question marks. Jordany Valdespin, who has been called up from Triple-A Buffalo while Cedeño is on the DL, has shown promise, but he’s also been inconsistent, and he’s more of a second baseman than a shortstop. Other prospects in the system are a least a couple of years from being ready for New York.

Look for Tejada to stick around for a while. While it’s unlikely he’ll develop into a Reyes-like All-Star, he’s got the tools to keep the infield from falling apart.

In other words, he’ll do.


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New York Mets: Daniel Murphy at Second Base for the Team in 2011?

When the New York Mets take the field for the first time in 2011, the one face fans don’t want to see is that of Luis Castillo. Castillo has been a black eye at second base since the Mets signed him to a four-year, $25 million deal in 2007.

He is due $6 million next season, so it’s hard to imagine the Mets would let him ride the bench all season and take up that money. The Mets could eat the contract, which is what the fans probably want, but that’s not the most financially responsible decision. If they’re going to spend that $6 million anyway, why not at least try to get something out of Castillo?

But GM Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday that there is a new name in the hat for second base—Daniel Murphy.

You remember Daniel Murphy, right?

He spent time at both first base and left field during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Before the start of the 2010 season, Murphy was slated to be the Mets’ Opening Day first baseman, but he injured his knee in a Spring Training game and after some unsuccessful experiments (remember Mike Jacobs?), the Mets eventually called up Ike Davis, and the rest is history.

Davis has now firmly entrenched himself at first base and the fans love him. Murphy needed a new home, so the Mets are trying to turn him into a second baseman.

Then on June 2, while playing second base for the Mets’ Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Murphy tore his MCL while trying to turn a double play. Though he didn’t require surgery, he was forced to miss 4-6 months.

Murphy is fully recovered from the injury now and is getting a lot of time at second base playing Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic—and he’s tearing it up.

Murphy is currently hitting .320 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in 103 at-bats.

Without a doubt, Murphy will be competing for the second base job come Spring Training. The only question is whether he’ll have to beat out Castillo or Ruben Tejada for the job.

Most likely it’s going to be Castillo. Although Tejada was a defensive wizard during his time in the bigs last season, he hit only .213 in 216 at-bats.

If the Mets wanted to have Tejada on the roster as a defensive replacement in late innings for Murphy, that’s fine. But then they’d have to decide what to do with Castillo, because they can’t carry all three, and Murphy has reportedly taken huge strides to improve his defense.

One scout who watched Murphy in the Dominican Republic said that he was”servicable.”

Honestly, I think Mets fans would take a “servicable” Daniel Murphy over Luis Castillo in a heartbeat.

Murphy has a huge advantage due to the fact that the Mets front office is down on Castillo and would love to get rid of him if they could find a team willing to swap bad contracts. Tejada can’t hit a lick, and the Mets don’t seem to have any plans to sign a second baseman this offseason.

Besides all that, the guy just plain deserves a chance to play. He was a disaster in left field for the Mets, but he went out there every day because they asked him to. When the Mets stuck Ike Davis at first base, Murphy chose to learn a new position, rather than stay a first baseman and pray for a chance.

When the Mets take the field for 2011, look for Daniel Murphy to make an impact—this time a positive impact, and this time, at second base.


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New York Mets 2011 Season: Who’s on Second?

Amidst the pursuit for the next New York Mets manager, several on the field questions still plague the Mets in the coming months. Besides the evident issues facing the bullpen, the most pressing matter I see facing Alderson’s Mets is who will be manning the second base position next year.

I’ve gone through some possible options out there for the Mets next year, some internal and external, but none named Luis Castillo.

I got to tell you though; many of them are looking pretty promising. Let’s just hope these options look as good on the field as they do on paper.

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Seven Reasons to Continue to Follow the New York Mets

The Mets were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday. However, with 10 games left in the season, fans should not stop supporting the team. I am completely aware that it is football season and there are two exciting teams in New York. The Jets, behind Rex Ryan (you either love him or hate him), are looking to improve on last season’s AFC Championship game appearance.

Meanwhile, the Giants are looking to return to the playoffs. With this, there appears to be no reason to continue following the Mets. However, as a recently displaced Mets fan, I can tell you that there are still many reasons to keep up with the team. Here’s a list of seven relevant reasons to keep rooting for the home team.

1. Following the Youth Movement

The Mets have many young and exciting players on their roster. Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, Jon Niese, and Dillon Gee are all players that fans should be excited about. While Davis and Niese have already locked up their roster spots for next season, the rest of the group will begin spring training next year fighting for jobs.

2. You Don’t Want to Be Considered a Bandwagon Fan

Yes, you supported the Mets in the past when they were terrible, but giving up on your team gives your friends (read: Yankee fans) another reason to make fun of you. The reason that we love the Mets is because of our strong attachments to them. You know you will be following all of their moves during the offseason, so don’t give up on them now.

3. Because Football is Only on Sundays

I know that the Mets are not currently an exciting team to watch but what other sports are on during weeknights? Sure you can just watch replays of the World Series of Poker all night on ESPN2, but that’s no fun. Commit to watching the Mets for at least six nights out of the week until the season is over. I completely understand watching an NFL game instead once a week.

4. The Lines at Shake Shack are the Shortest They’ve Ever Been

With less than 20,000 fans showing up at the home games now, less people are in line for concessions. Instead of wasting up to three innings in line waiting for burgers (been there, done that), you can get in line and get your food in under an inning. This is an opportunity that cannot be missed.

5. Buy Cheap Seats and Move Down

We all know that going to a ballgame is very expensive. However, with the limited number of fans showing up, there is a great solution. Buy cheap upper deck seats and move down to the lower levels around the second inning. With so many empty seats, no one will even take notice that your there.


6. Because They’re Still Your Team

You’ve stuck with the Mets before and you should do it again. What are your other options? Root for the Yankees? The Long Island Ducks? Having moved out to St. Louis and dealing with Cardinals fans has made me realize that you can’t just give up on your team because they are having a bad year. The Mets are a part of me and since you’re reading this blog I am assuming they’re a part of you too.

7. There Will Be Big Changes This Offseason

Changes are coming to both the roster and the front office. Your going to want to keep close to the team as we could begin to start hearing hints about what may occur in the near future.

To read more Mets articles written by myself and others, check out Mets Gazette.

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2010 New York Mets: Where Did the Season Go All Wrong?

If you can remember back to April 5th, you’ll recall a beautiful Monday afternoon when the New York Mets defeated the Florida Marlins 7-1 and everything in Mets Land was perfect. Nothing is better than a 1-0 record.

Since then, however, the Mets have been thrown into the bowels of mediocrity, cursed to a 69-71 record and playoff irrelevance as the season heads into its final weeks. Since the beginning of summer, inconsistent play and poor hitting have put the team in this dire situation, and the Flushing Faithful into a “next year” type mindset.

For every team that sees its season go down the toilet, there is usually more than one reason for that. The case is no different for the Mets.

The Mets season was great heading into the summer. On June 24th they were tied for first place in the division and were about to play the Detroit Tigers in an attempt to gain first place. They lost that game 6-5. Since then, they have very slowly lost 11 games of ground in the division. Since then, they have only won two games in a row twice, doing so against both Washington and Pittsburgh.

You can pinpoint that date as the time of the Mets’ demise, but what was the cause? 

It’s always easy to blame management, but in the Mets case it’s a pretty good reason. The team hit a small bump in the road, and instead of changing things up after the All-Star break, they kept going with what didn’t work. Beltran kept hitting in the middle of the order despite not hitting over .220 for most of his time with the Mets this season. 

Sub .200 hitters are not the types of players that you want in your lineup, but that is who was in the lineup consistently. It seems as if the Mets were trying to develop players like Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole before their playoff run was over. Thole has done well, but Tejada cannot get above that Mendoza line, nor can Mike Hessman or Fernando Martinez. Don’t forget that Alex Cora was playing almost everyday this summer before the Mets released him.

The Mets are also paying a whole bunch of players on their roster a lot of money who they don’t actually want to have there, including Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, and others. The only reason the Mets were ever good in the first place was because of surprise players like Angel Pagan, R.A. Dickey, and Ike Davis. 

Now, as they await the final game of this season, possibly the most sad season the Mets have had in quite a while, they will be testing out the young guys. Guys like Lucas Duda who, since coming up is batting .045 (1-22). Others include Jenrry Mejia, Nick Evans, and Luis Hernandez. 

So as they say in Chicago, wait ’til next year!

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By Calling Up Youngsters, Mets Are Planning For 2011

As much as the Mets don’t want to admit it, by calling up two of their top minor league prospects, they are planning for 2011.

Perhaps their thinking is that the young players is what energized them early in the season, but it’s too late for that now.

There are so many negatives that outweigh every potential positive. By bringing up Ruben Tejada and Fernando Martinez, a couple of veteran players are upset. Of course, Mets fans don’t care about feelings and they shouldn’t.

The problem is, one of those players means a lot to the Mets clubhouse. The Mets have said that Martinez will platoon in right field with Jeff Francoeur.

If Francoeur wasn’t already upset when he lost playing time to Angel Pagan, now he has every reason to be.

Although he was upset when Pagan took his job, he shouldn’t have been as Pagan earned it. This move though is a little strange.

Martinez hadn’t had a Major League at-bat all season, and has really been a bust so far. He was supposed to be an up-and-coming star young player that has never hit on the big league level. He has always been injury prone, having had knee surgery last season.

Francoeur has proven way more in his career between the Braves and Mets. He can occasionally get into a hot streak, which Martinez hasn’t shown, and he has a superior glove to Martinez, who isn’t an established right fielder.

Regarding the Tejada-for-Castillo situation, it’s a smart move on the Mets part, but it doesn’t mean it won’t get Castillo fired up.

It’s extremely shocking that the Mets went in this direction. Tejada was sent down for more seasoning at the plate, and Castillo was to play when he returned from the disabled list because of his contract status.

The positives did show in Saturday night’s Mets win, with Tejada making some stellar defensive plays at second, which Castillo wouldn’t have had the range to make. Defense is probably why Tejada is here.

But the thought of having both Luis Castillo and Jeff Francoeur on the bench for the majority of the games doesn’t make much sense. Castillo is virtually useless off the bench other than a need for a sacrifice bunt, and Francoeur as we’ve seen, can’t stay fresh as a pinch-hitter.

According to reports, Francoeur once again has asked Omar Minaya to be traded. For that to happen, he’d obviously have to be claimed off waivers by August 31.

The Mets have been desperately trying to deal Castillo but no one wants his bad contract.

Looking that the roster as a whole, the Mets now have three useless backups in Francoeur, Castillo, and Oliver Perez.

The reason why the Mets made these moves is because they’re holding open auditions for 2011. Fernando Martinez wouldn’t have a role, unless Carlos Beltran is dealt in the offseason. Jason Bay and Angel Pagan are locks to be back and starting next season.

Tejada, though, could replace Castillo assuming the Mets can rid of his contract. The Mets won last night’s game, and it had nothing to do with the moves that they made.

It had to do with their ace stepping up, and odd-man out Jeff Francoeur hitting a long ball. There wasn’t any renewed energy in a 1-0 win. The team was rather flat.

But the Mets, hovering around .500, have decided to start thinking next season. Now how disappointing is that considering where the Mets were in June?

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