Ruben Tejada Strains Quad; Who is Going to Play Short?

By Matt Musico

It’s amazing how the injury bug continues to bother the Mets in 2012. Recent years have been marred by key players going down with big injuries and being sidelined for significant chunks of the season. This afternoon was just another day with a Met injury, as Ruben Tejada exited the game in the bottom of the 4th inning after tripping over first base as he was legging out a bunt single.

Before the Mets and D-backs squared off in the rubber game earlier this afternoon, New York made a roster move, optioning middle infielder Jordany Valdespin to Triple-A Buffalo and calling up D.J. Carrasco to bolster the bullpen as Miguel Batista is being

temporarily inserted into the starting rotation. It made sense to send Valdespin down; as a natural middle infielder, he only received six at-bats since he was called up during the doubleheader against the Giants. Tejada and Murphy aren’t going anywhere and with both of them producing at the plate and playing solid defense, he wouldn’t get a consistent amount of at-bats.

Now that Tejada is out and his current status is unknown as he is currently undergoing an MRI, what will the Mets do if their 22-year-old shortstop is out for an extended period of time? Justin Turner replaced Tejada in today’s game and was able to hold his own at the position. Ronny Cedeno is currently rehabbing from his injury and is apparently close to returning to the team.

Should the Mets call Valdespin back up give the middle infield some support? I don’t think so. This is Justin Turner’s time to shine. Obviously, shortstop is not his natural position, but Turner was so clutch in RBI opportunities in 2011 that it only makes sense to give him another shot at being in the lineup everyday, especially since the Mets are a team that have been able to get on base at a high clip, but not necessarily drive runs in consistently. Terry Collins believes that if Tejada is only out for a few days, Turner will be his man at short, but if it’s longer than that, the team may have to make another roster move before Cedeno is healthy enough to return.

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