After coming up lame last night in the ninth inning, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Ruben Tejada would land on the disabled list. Today, the Mets made the move official.
Tejada, who injured his right quad in the field in the bottom of the ninth, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. To replace him, the team has called up infielder Omar Quintanilla from AAA Las Vegas. In order to make room for Quintanilla on the 40-man roster, the club transferred injured reliever Frank Francisco to the 60-day disabled list.
If last night’s’ injury hadn’t occurred, it’s highly likely that Tejada would’ve been sent to AAA and replaced by Quintanilla anyway. Tejada did single to lead off yesterday’s game, but followed that up with four weak at bats. In addition, he made another odd mistake in the field. With runners on second and third and the Mets leading 8-1, Tejada fielded a routine grounder. Instead of throwing to first for the out, Tejada looked at the lead runners before uncorking a lollipop throw to first base. All the runners were safe, and Tejada had another embarrassing gaffe under his belt.
What’s happened to Tejada is extremely strange. Before this season, he was viewed as a solid player whose strongest attribute was his high baseball acumen. In 2013, Tejada has done a 180, often appearing lost in the field. The injury likely saved him a trip to AAA. Hopefully for the Mets and Tejada, he’ll use this time to both decompress and fix whatever has been getting in his way mentally.
Quintanilla, who hit .257 with a .350 OBP in 70 at bats for the Mets last season, will receive the bulk of the playing time while Tejada is on the shelf. The 31 year old Quintanilla had been hitting .333 in the hitter friendly PCL prior to his callup. He has been playing primarily against right handers in AAA, and that will probably be the case with the Mets as well.***
*** Per Adam Rubin, Quintanilla (not Justin Turner) will be starting at short for the Mets tonight despite the fact that there’s a lefty on the hill.