Tag:Ruben Tejada
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:43 pm

Spring primer: New York Mets

Terry Collins

By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Marlins made headlines with their offseason spending spree, the Phillies still have the game's most intimidating rotation, the Nationals have some of the game's biggest young talents and the Braves are a sleeper team that shouldn't be written off because of last season's late collapse. And then there's the Mets. Last season the team finished fourth in the division and went 77-85, and then they lost their best player. To say there's a lack of buzz surrounding the Mets would be an understatement.

Major additions: CF Andres Torres, CL Frank Francisco
Major departures: SS Jose Reyes, RH Chris Capuano

Probable lineup
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Daniel Murphy 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Lucas Duda RF
6. Jason Bay LF
7. Josh Thole C
8. Ruben Tejada SS

Probable rotation
1. Johan Santana
2. R.A. Dickey
3. Jonathon Niese
4. Mike Pelfrey
5. Dillon Gee

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Frank Francisco
Set-up: Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Bobby Parnell

Important bench players
OF Scott Hairston, IF Justin Turner

Prospect to watch
The team's top prospect is right-hander Zack Wheeler, acquired in the Carlos Beltran trade, but if he sees Citi Field this season, it'll likely be near the end of the year when the team's fate has already been decided. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis could contribute immediately. The 24-year-old missed the second half of the 2011 season with a torn labrum in his non-throwing (left) shoulder, but has been swinging the bat at full strength since last month. Before his injury, he was hitting .298/.403/.505 with six homers in 221 plate appearances for Triple-A Buffalo. A solid all-around player, Nieuwenhuis can play any of the three outfield sports, but center field may be where he could make his mark. The Mets have the 34-year-old Torres as the its starter in center and the 31-year-old Hairston backing him up, so it's not much of a stretch to see Nieuwenhuis get a chance sometime this season.

Fantasy sleeper: Lucas Duda
"From July 15 (about the time he took over for a departed Carlos Beltran) to the end of the season, Duda hit .322 with 10 homers and a .957 OPS -- numbers that jive with his minor-league track record. And that was at old Citi Field, complete with its big gaps, tall fences and ability to crush David Wright's spirit." -- Scott White [Full Mets fantasy team preview]

Fantasy bust: David Wright
"Over the last three seasons, he has a .284 batting average and .828 OPS, which are solid numbers but less than elite even for a third baseman. True, his struggles began the same year the Mets moved to spacious Citi Field, but that doesn't explain why his numbers have lagged on the road during that time. Thus, you can't assume the team's decision to move in the fences this year will be Wright's miracle cure. It'll help, but it won't eliminate the injuries, the perpetually rising strikeout rate and the curious home-road splits." -- Scott White [Full Mets fantasy team preview]

Optimistic outlook
Santana returns to Cy Young form and Niese takes a step forward, as the Mets pitching staff rounds into form. The new dimensions of Citi Field make a huge difference for the team's offense, with Wright and Bay returning to form, while Duda becomes a star. Even in this perfect world, the Mets could have trouble leapfrogging the Phillies, Marlins and Braves. But Bud Selig could always add another eight playoff spots, giving them a spot in the postseason.

Pessimistic outlook
Santana's injuries continue to haunt him and nobody steps up to take over at the top of the rotation. Davis isn't the same player that he was before his injury and Duda suffers from a sophomore slump, as the offense struggles overall. And then there's the chance that the problems on the field pale in comparison to the ownership problems. The worst-case scenario (well, for 2012, it's may be the best-case scenario for the long term) has a repeat of the Dodger fiasco.

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:44 am

Spring position battles: National League East

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We finish our look at spring training's position battles with the National League East, home of some of the most intriguing teams in the game -- and the Mets.

Previous spring position battles: AL West | NL West | AL Central | NL Central | AL East

Atlanta Braves
Fifth starter: Mike Minor vs. Randall Delgado vs. Julio Teheran

There's not a team in baseball that wouldn't drool over having to make this decision. The three are expected to be the keystone to the rotation in the future, but Minor's still the oldest of the bunch having just celebrated his 24th birthday the day after Christmas and therefore expected to be the first to make an impact in the majors. Delgado turned 22 on Thursday and Teheran celebrated his 21st birthday last month. The left-handed Minor made 15 starts last season for the Braves, going 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA. Meanwhile, Delgado dazzled in his seven starts, going 1-1 with a 2.83. Teheran didn't live up to the expectations many had for him -- but he was just 20 and made only three starts. He'll be fine. More than fine.

Miami Marlins
Center field: Emilio Bonifacio vs. Chris Coghlan vs. Yoenis Cespedes?

This is up in the air until Cespedes makes his decision, although it seems more and more like he'll be a Marlin. There's no question the Marlins want him and there's no question they want him in center field. If he does sign with Miami, the team will have to see how ready the 26-year-old is for the big leagues. He may not start in Miami, but the goal would be to have him there for the long-haul. Bonifacio is coming off a career-best .296/.360/.393 season with 40 stolen bases, but he was aided by a .372 batting average on balls in play -- something that will likely drop, but should still be high because of his speed. He also increased his walk rate, which helped as well. Coghlan won the 2009 Rookie of the Year, but a knee injury in 2010 has hampered him since his first season. He hit just .230/.296/.368 with five home runs and seven stolen bases in 298 plate appearances last season and his future is up in the air.

New York Mets
Second base: Daniel Murphy vs. Justin Turner vs. Ronny Cedeno

Murphy's likely to get the nod, as long as he can field the position adequately. Murphy made the majority of his starts at first base last season, but with the return of Ike Davis, Murphy needs a home thanks to his .320/.362/.448 line. Turner hit .260/.334/.356 as the team's primary second baseman (71 starts), but is probably no more than a utility player in the long run. Cedeno was signed from the Pirates to back up Ruben Tejada at shortstop, but he could figure in the second base situation if worst comes to worst.

Philadelphia Phillies
Left field: John Mayberry Jr. vs. Domonic Brown vs. Laynce Nix

The job is probably Mayberry's to lose after hitting .273/.341/.513 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI last season. Brown, the team's former top prospect, struggled in his 56 games and 210 plate appearances with the Phillies last season, hitting .245/.333/.391 with five homers. Brown has the talent, but it has to actuate for him to earn more playing time. The left-handed Nix is a backup, but could add depth to the outfield with the absence of Ryan Howard at first base. A good fielder, Nix struggles against left-handed pitching, so he's not an everyday type player.

Washington Nationals
Center field: Rick Ankiel vs. Roger Bernadina vs. Bryce Harper

Well, Harper won't be in center field, but he's basically fighting for that spot. If he makes the team out of spring, he'll be in right and Jayson Werth will be in center. That still seems unlikely, as good as the 19-year-old is. Ankiel won a spring-training battle with Nyjer Morgan last year, leading to Morgan's trade to Milwaukee. The Nationals brought Ankiel back on a minor-league deal, but he's still probably the favorite. He hit .239/.296/.363 with nine home runs last season. Like Ankiel, Bernadina hits left-handed. Last year he put up a .243/.301/.362 line with seven home runs in 91 games and 50 starts in center field.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 2:31 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 8:59 pm

Mets place Reyes on DL

By Evan Brunell

ReyesJose Reyes has hit the disabled list with a hamstring strain, the Mets announced Thursday.

Reyes, who was elected to start the All-Star Game at shortstop for the NL, has missed the last four games with the strain and will now miss the All-Star festivities. The Mets have maintained that Reyes only had a mild hamstring strain, but hamstrings are no joke -- especially when it comes to someone who relies on his wheels like Reyes.

Enrique Rojas of ESPN is reporting that doctors have told Reyes he will be shut down for three weeks, which means he will miss most of July and almost certainly remove his name from the trade market.

Reyes, who may be opening up secret contract extension talks with the Mets, is hitting .354/.398/.529 with 15 triples and 30 stolen bases. The batting average and triple tallies led all of baseball. With Reyes sidelined, Ruben Tejada is expected to get the bulk of playing time at short.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 6:23 pm

Mets' Reyes on bereavement list

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jose ReyesAlready without David Wright and Ike Davis, the Mets will be without shortstop Jose Reyes for as much as a week. Reyes was placed on the bereavement list after the death of his grandmother, Maria Trinadad Reyes, in the Dominican Republic.

Reyes is having perhaps the best season of his career, hitting .335/.382/.493, and leading the league in hits (76), doubles (17) and stolen bases (19).

"With Jose out of the lineup for a few days, we've really got to rally around each other," manager Terry Collins told MLB.com. "We've got to understand that it's going to take everybody that's on the bench and in that lineup to get the job done."

As good as Reyes has been to start this season, he's been even better lately, hitting .459/.474/.676 in the last eight games and .364/.421/.555 in May.

Ruben Tejada is starting at shortstop today and Willie Harris is leading off, playing third base.

The Mets activated right-hander Bobby Parnell from the disabled list (finger) to take Reyes' roster spot.

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Posted on: September 25, 2010 12:41 am
Edited on: September 25, 2010 12:44 am

Mets, Phillies in tiff over slide

David Wright
Next time Phillies second baseman Chase Utley sees the Mets' David Wright sliding toward him, he should jump. Of course, if Ruben Tejada had used that technique, the latest beef between the teams could have been avoided.

Wright took exception to a slide Utley made Friday night in an attempt to break up a double play. The slide resulted in Tejada, the Mets' second baseman, being knocked over, and Wright implied that the Mets would be going after Utley on the basepaths in the future.

"He's a second baseman," Wright told MLB.com. "He knows what it's like to turn a double play, and he knows the difference between a good, clean slide and a slide that's late. That's a better question for him. But if he doesn't mind guys coming like that after him, then everything's good.

"We'll move on, and we'll reevaluate the way that we go into second base."

The trouble is, the replay shows that Tejada, a 20-year-old rookie, stayed planted on the second-base bag instead of jumping to avoid Utley. A second baseman trying to turn two gets the benefit of the doubt if he leaves the bag to dodge a sliding runner, and even if Utley's slide was on the late side, Tejada could have avoided him.

Even Tejada didn't complain about the slide, saying "it's baseball" and noting that Utley asked whether he was OK after the play. Utley declined to comment.

Hopefully Wright was just frustrated after a loss and there won't be any carryover from the play this weekend. Because it's Tejada, not Utley, who appears to be the one who should take a lesson from the play. Next time, jump.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 5:03 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 8:40 pm

Here's a shocker: Castillo wants out of NY

Luis Castillo
Luis Castillo wants out of New York, and the feeling is mutual.

The Mets second baseman, left to wither on the bench as the team finally tired of his underperforming ways, made no bones about his desires in an interview with the New York Post.

"I can't be here anymore," he said. "I know I'm not going to be here next year."

Well, that much is virtually certain, but it's unclear how that's going to happen. The Mets owe him $6 million for 2011 -- not a ton of money, but more than another team is going to take on in trade for an aging infielder with a .616 OPS who plays mediocre (at best) defense. The Mets will probably have to eat a good chunk of that money to ship him out.

On the other hand, the Mets' fallback for second base isn't exactly looking like a barn-burner. Rookie Ruben Tejada has been completely overmatched at the plate at the major-league level, batting .183. He came into Saturday 0-for-16 since being called up last week to be the regular starter.

"If they think that he's the best player, that's OK," Castillo said. "I just don't want to be a backup when I've been playing every day for my whole career."

Even if Tejada doesn't turn out to be ready, another season with Castillo looks extremely unlikely. The team and its fans have been unhappy with his performance and his effort level, and it looks like the former All-Star will have a new address in 2011.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 7, 2010 6:59 pm

Mets send Castillo, Francoeur to bench

Luis Castillo
The Mets' bench got a lot more expensive Saturday, as they decided to let the kids take a shot where the veterans are falling short.

Manager Jerry Manuel said Ruben Tejada, called up Saturday along with Fernando Martinez, will be the everyday second baseman, supplanting Luis Castillo. Outfielder Martinez will be in a right-handed platoon with Jeff Francoeur, meaning he'll get most of the starts. Castillo (pictured) is making $6 million this season and batting .246/.341/.287; Francoeur is making $5 million and batting .241/.295/.378.

"When you lose the games that we've been losing, you just have to try to do something different," general manager Omar Minaya told ESPNNewYork.com. "There's nothing wrong trying something different with young players. ... This is about trying to find something different to get us to score some runs."

Tejada, 20, played 35 games with the Mets previously this season, batting .212. Martinez, 21, batted .176 in 29 games early in 2009.

Putting guys that young with no history of producing in the majors in starting positions looks an awful lot like running up the white flag on the season, but Minaya insists that's not the case.

"It's always developmental when you bring the young kids up," Minaya said. "But we feel we're still in a pennant race."

To make room on the roster for the new arrivals, the Mets sent down Jesus Feliciano and released Alex Cora. Cora, who was having a miserable season at the plate (.207/.265/.278), was 18 games from automatically vesting a $2 million option for 2011.

Francoeur has been a fourth wheel in the Mets outfield since Carlos Beltran's return, but had seen more playing time since Jason Bay went out with a concussion. Now he's back to the bench, and some expect him to ask for a trade.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 7, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2010 2:28 pm

Mets prospects to be called up, not traded

The New York Times reports that the reason Ruben Tejada and Fernando Martinez were pulled from the Mets' Triple-A lineup Friday was because the team plans to call them up, not trade them, as some reports suggested.

ESPNNewYork.com quoted two sources Friday saying the Mets had a trade in place with the Mariners. They still might, but it's not clear what would be involved. The Times expects some kind of roster move announcement later Saturday.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: ESPN.com reports that the Mets have released Alex Cora and demoted Jesus Feliciano, clearing roster spots for Tejada and Martinez.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com