Tejada was chastised by Collins in 2012 for failing to arrive early for Spring Training, and was called out by general manager Sandy Alderson during an interview on WFAN last week. Alderson told host Mike Francesa that getting Tejada to put in the necessary work to improve was like “pulling teeth.”
After performing poorly at the plate (he hit .209 with a .267 OBP) and making a host of physical and mental errors in the field over the first two months of the season, Tejada injured himself on May 29th. When he was deemed healthy, he was sent to AAA Las Vegas, where he performed well.
It’s nice to hear that Tejada (according to Collins) will be the team’s starting shortstop beginning tomorrow. Although he performed poorly earlier in the season, he’s still just 23, and has flashed the ability to at least be a contributor at the big league level – whether it’s as a starting player or a bench piece.
Omar Quintanilla‘s future with the Mets is likely non-existent, so giving Tejada some run here makes total sense. With that said, from what is being reported and after hearing Sandy Alderson talk about his poor work ethic, it seems like a long-shot that Tejada will be the “answer” at shortstop going forward.
Still, with the Mets expected to spend a large amount of dollars during the offseason on the outfield and a starting pitcher, it’s conceivable that shortstop won’t get a significant upgrade. If that’s the case, what Tejada does between now and the end of the season (both on and off the field) will matter a great deal more than it would otherwise.