Ruben Tejada 14 (Baron)

Ruben Tejada is penciled in as Sandy’s SS

Sandy Alderson is very pleased that 24-year-old SS Ruben Tejada took his off-season conditioning program seriously and appears ready for 2014 (New York Post, Jan. 24).

Tejada and Lucas Duda were among seven Mets players who participated in an off-season strength, conditioning and nutrition program in Michigan this winter.

“He went up there in November and he’s back up there now,” Alderson said in Virginia on Friday. “It’s one of the reasons we have greater confidence that he can handle that position as a regular, so we’ll see.”

According to multiple reports last Spring, Tejada arrived to camp out of shape, which was followed by a below-average season and injury.

“We’re always looking to improve,” Alderson said. However, he added, “We will be happy going into spring training with Ruben penciled in as being our starting shortstop.”


Read More: Mets say Ruben Tejada shaping up at boot camp (New York Post)




126 comments
hbk2004
hbk2004

they can condition Tejada all they want, but they can't inject him with talent. He has no speed, no power and no range

dexx
dexx

Does it seem a bit strange that Tejada went to conditioning camp and is now penciled in as the starter, while Duda went to the same camp already the starter, and now Ike will be playing 1B?  Exactly.  Ike will either be traded, or released, or we sign Stephen Drew as our starting SS, or both, but there is no way we open the season with Tejada at SS and Ike  at 1B.

TurkWendell4Life
TurkWendell4Life

No other options for us, have to go with Rubin and hope he tries. 

Jay Gee
Jay Gee

Why? Spring training has not even begun?

kappyesq
kappyesq

I have no problem admitting when I am wrong, but I have rarely been wrong with this sort of thing. Along with writing against Duda, and others who have not amounted to anything, I was against Dillon Gee as a good Major League-caliber pitcher. I was right up until last season, where he promptly shut me up & his other detractors. However, I still believe he is only an average pitcher & had Harvey not gotten injured, I would have advocate trading Gee this offseason to sell high on him to avoid having another Angel Pagan situation. I believe Gee will come down to earth this year & he will probably win 10 games with an ERA around 4.50; that's not great, but it is still better than a lot of 5th starters in baseball. Nevertheless, I was wrong about Gee & I hope he proves me wrong again in 2014. Unfortunately for the Mets, I have not & I am not wrong about Lucas Duda. The only thing Duda supporters have to go against me on is his OBP & they stick to that argument until they form carpal tunnel syndrome. Are we really going to argue that an alleged power hitter deserves a starting job because he draws his fair share of walks? As I mentioned above, an organizational approach to hitting that promotes high OBP results in a very passive lineup & Duda is probably the most passive hitter on the team. I'm not the only one who sees it, too, because pitchers consistently start off Duda with a get-me-over fastball down the heart of the plate for strike 1, and Duda just stands there & stares at it. Duda is supposed to be a power hitter, he needs to be much more aggressive & not just look for walks. He needs to dictate the action to the pitcher, not the other way around. If he gets a pitch to drive at 0-0, 2-0, or even 3-0, he needs to get the bat off his shoulder & put a charge into the ball. He doesn't do that though, and I seriously wonder whether he even has the ability to so it if he tried because he was overmatched numerous times the past 2 seasons on very hittable pitches from very hittable pitchers. The mantra for some hitters is that a walk is just as good as a single. That mantra applies to weak-hitting players, or players with speed who can turn a walk into a double very easily. That mantra doesn't apply to Duda, who is supposed to be a power hitter. Someone needs to get THAT through his head much more than he needs to spend the offseason in Michigan, eating differently & working on his conditioning. While it is nice that he participated & showed he is a team player, I don't think - actually I am positive - it will not translate into success for Duda in 2014. Duda doesn't belong on the Major League roster, let alone starting for the 2014 Mets. Until the acquisitions of Young & Granderson (and hopefully Drew), the Mets were filled with AAAA players; players that were good in AAA, but not good enough to be quality Major Leaguers. Duda is the President & CEO of the AAAA Mets & the team needs to cut ties with him.

kappyesq
kappyesq

As for Lucas Duda, I have been writing about his deficiencies ad nauseum the past couple years. Despite having rational points supported by statistical evidence, there are Mets fans out there who think this guy could be, and will be, a productive player for this team. It's delusional, but it is also a fundamental problem with Mets fans: they tend to root more for the player than for the jersey. If a player comes out of the Mets farm system, such as Duda, Mets fans have a blind love for those players regardless of the abilities, or as in the case of Duda, lack thereof. I'm glad he participated in a conditioning & nutrition program because he definitely could stand to lose a few pounds & increase his stamina. However, again, that is not going to bring about a miracle & make him the player he was supposed to be. At best, Duda is a left-handed pinch hitter on a NL team and/or an AL, small market (Tampa, Minnesota, Oakland, etc.) Designated Hitter. When Duda was called up 3 years ago, we heard from Gary Cohen how great Duda's power was every time he came to the plate. Cohen also told us how Duda was this great all-around hitter & that he would flourish with the large gaps in Citi Field. We'll, 2.5 full seasons later, we are still waiting to see it. Going into the 2012 season, Duda was handed the starting RF spot without having any competition or fear of losing his job. He rewarded TC & SA's confidence in him by playing so badly that he got demoted. Fans cried & screamed that he was set up to fail because he would do better in LF, that he was a better player than Jason Bay. Going into the 2013 season, fans got exactly what they wants; Jason Bay was gone & Duda was once again handed a starting position, this time as the starting Left Fielder. Contrary to the promises & beliefs of numerous fans, Duda once again played himself down to AAA. Duda barely hit over the Mendoza line & despite having double-digit HR, he averaged just barely over 2.0 RBI per HR. He was atrocious with runners on base, even worse with RISP, and he was overmatched by average, journeymen pitchers. He drew his fair share of walks & had a respectable OBP for a .230 hitter, but his defense was embarrassing & he gave up far more runs through his crap defense than he produced through his crap offense. Despite that, many fans believe that he deserves to be handed yet another starting spot without any competition, this time at First Base. I don't get it. How many chances does this guy deserve before we see the truth, that Lucas Duda is not a starting-caliber, Major League Baseball Player. Many fans point to Duda's comments that he only felt comfortable at 1B, therefore his offense will turn around with his defensive comfort. I hate to tell you this, but Duda also said last Spring Training that he felt comfortable in Left Field, more so than in Right Field. How did that work out? Face it, it's not going to happen. If Lucas Duda is doing anything more than spot starting for the 2014 Mets then I can guarantee you right now that this will be a very, very long season. If both Duda and Ruben Tejada are doing more than spot starting in 2014, I can guarantee you right now that the Mets won't win a single game more than they did in 2013.

kappyesq
kappyesq

I'm glad to see Tejada & Duda took their offseason training program very seriously, but that doesn't mean that they are going to miraculously turn things around & become solid contributors. Getting them to perform on the level expected of Major League starters is not going to happen because they don't have the talent to do it. Extracting their talent is like drawing blood from a stone, it's just not there. With regards to Tejada, he has shown that he can hit around .300; however that doesn't mean much when he doesn't have any other tools to add to a .300 average. He is an average fielder (UZR means nothing when the eye test is more reliable); he has absolutely no power - zero HR power & zero gap / doubles power - he has speed, but he is extremely passive on the basepaths & attempts his steals late in counts & when the batter is behind w/ 2 strikes; and, finally, he has a terrible eye & doesn't draw enough walks to have a reasonable OBP that would justify him hitting in the lead off spot. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those Mets fans who has become enamored with walks - I think they are very overrated & result in a passive lineup. I just mentioned it because he doesn't have a single additional positive attribute to add to his .300 single, slap-hitting ability. The Mets would be making a big mistake if they rely on Tejada as their everyday SS & don't sign Drew to what is looking more & more like a team-friendly deal. The 2 wins he would supposedly bring could mean the difference between the WC2 spot and missing the playoffs. His veteran leadership & postseason experience would also be invaluable to a team that is hoping to make moves over the next 2 seasons.

Anthony Schifano
Anthony Schifano

I love reading these threads because these fans tell it like it is. Many of the beat writers and bloggers are way too positive to the point where it concerns me. There is nothing to feel good about until this team proves it can win more games than it loses. Hasn't happened in a while, and this team as constructed is a .500 team at best. Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, and Ike Davis shouldn't have been in this lineup to start the season. Now we will have 2 of them in the starting line up. Because if this, it will put too much pressure on Wright, Granderson, and Murph to produce. There's just not enough in this line up to make it effective.

steve333
steve333

Sandy's happy with him as a starting SS?

That makes one happy person

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

I think the Mets are using a non-erasable pencil...... Tejada, at this point, is our starting SS.

Carl Rock
Carl Rock

 I actually could have accepted this signing if they hadn't given Omar Quintanilla a contract

Metsopotamia
Metsopotamia

absolutely ridiculous. On the one hand, Sandy and company make it well known that they are unhappy with Tejeda at SS and even Ike and Duda at first. They are big off season priorities. Go out of their way to pretty much bad mouth all of them, then try to trade them or "upgrade" and then do absolutely nothing with it. Then to make it worse, they think we are all not smart and tell us now they will be happy to have Tejeda as the opening day SS, are they kidding?

rubiconx0
rubiconx0

what a joke, i guess Alderson lied again about upgrading at short, i thought i was his #1 priority?

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

The "pencil can be erased" joke is popular on this thread. The team needs another hitter. Fans should keep on repeating this until they get one. If they don't, do so anyway. I don't trust Tejeda that much, but one more hitter is the ultimate concern. A lead-off hitter particularly.

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Unless the guy is bulking-up on some highly-questionable chemicals he still won't be able to hit the ball out of Citifield.

Matt Drucker
Matt Drucker

I blame a lot of the lack of trading on Alderson. He constantly says "we don't trust him" or "we don't believe he can do this" then he tries to trade the players he openly bashed. What team would then would want to make a deal for them? Maybe he's a different approach. Maybe he can try to sell a team on their potential and not on their flaws!

chasesimms
chasesimms

I didn't realize Duda was on a nutrition program this off season.  Now I feel much better!


Has he also been seeing a therapist and psychologist to overcome his anxiety and low self esteem?  That's what he needs. 

Chris Biehl
Chris Biehl

Still not sold on this, I think they will scour the trade market all through the spring

A Pocono View_
A Pocono View_

How about their offensive skills, did they work on that?

Ziggy Jones
Ziggy Jones

i have no faith in tejada.


however, he is on my team, so i'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. if he truly is in great shape, then hopefully his performance will have a nice uptick. ruben is still so young that it's almost impossible to predict how he'll turn out.


I really wish the mets had a backup plan though

eric88
eric88

Sandy, at the Winter Meetings you said SS was your #1 goal.. Now Tejada is working out! How does it matter with a Zero tool player. He is not good at anything in terms of skillset.

Shawn M. Milburn
Shawn M. Milburn

Signing Drew in necessary for the simple reason, we need a lead off hitter!

Vic Scarpelli
Vic Scarpelli

He has to say thus in case drew doesn't settle for what the mets want to pay. Tejada would be a rh bat vs lefties at 2b and ss

Shaun Bewick
Shaun Bewick

What happened to trading for a SS from someone like Arizona's surplus?  Were they asking too much??

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

@Anthony Schifano A .500 team would be a +8 upswing with hope for the future. It might be a low bar, but would people be upset at that happening? But, yes, they need someone else.

Bringback86
Bringback86

@Metsopotamia When Tejada has his head on straight he is a fundamentally sound ballplayer.  I think they sent a message to him and he responded in a way you want to see a young professional respond.  As such, he passed this very important first step.  Now it must translate to the field;  I think he'll bounce back.  Furthermore, I see no sense in bringing in Drew, especially considering his numbers, the amount he's asking for, and the number of years.  He and Boras are trying to hold these teams hostage and Stephen Drew is Definitely not worth it.  The longer he is on the market, the less he's worth, and I still don't want him.

chasesimms
chasesimms

@rubiconx0He sure did.  But hey, at least we still have Duda, Davis and Satin at first.........so.....

rubiconx0
rubiconx0

@chasesimmshe needs a good swift kick in the butt and should start acting and performing like a professional ball player!

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Shaun Bewick They are not going to trade either one of them unless you way overpay for one of them. Didi is very good glove but questions about how much he'll hit. Owings is a good bat but there's debate about whether he will have to move to 2B because not good enough defensively to play SS. They will probably not move either of them, play Didi at short and Owings at 2b

Metsopotamia
Metsopotamia

@Bringback86@MetsopotamiaI will have to agree to disagree I guess. Cause Tejada, even if bounces back to what he was before, I still think they need an upgrade there. He is nothing special. He has no speed, no power and when I hear fundamentally sound player, sounds like a bench player to me. I am tired of having bench players starting and waiting for marginally good players to "get it" or "find it" you think good teams would keep bringing back players they arent satisfied with just cause they dont have the imagination to find to someone better? I dont think so. I am also tired of being content with losing. Its always we have to wait for the perfect time or wait for this contract to be over or this free agent isnt worth spending the money on, sorry that is a losers mentality. How much time do you need the Mets havent been good in almost 6 years. I think the way to get better is to add as many good players ( not over priced free agents ) better talented players all around. When you have better talent you win more games. Bringing back the same players that fail over and over again and expect it to change on its own is not the way to go, in my opinion. Its not about Drew, I never brought up Drew. Why is it down to only keeping Tejada or signing Drew. Sandy and the brainiacs couldnt come up with a way to get anyone else? come on. It should be lets get an upgrade, and if we cant then we sign someone else cause if they didnt want the likes of Tejada and Duda and whoever, they shouldnt be "stuck" with them. Make a move, do some scouting, to me its lazy and like I said unimaginative to go into the season with players you dont want and then sell us that its what they wanted in the first place.

chasesimms
chasesimms

@rubiconx0@chasesimms  I'm not sure a "good swift kick in the butt" is the solution to anxiety and low self esteem.   That sounds like an abusive, alcoholic dads idea of a solution.   Haa!

Bringback86
Bringback86

@kappyesq  Kappy, as I said in my post,"Lowrie is not someone you build a team around but the type of player who supplements the core." I totally agree that the Mets don't have a full core of players.


As far as Duda is concerned, I never said one word about him.  Not one, so I'm not sure what you are referencing when you say "...but if you are okay with giving Tejada and Duda yet another shot, then you are content with losing because that is what the Mets will do if either player is anything more than a reserve on this roster."  When, where did I ever say anything about Duda???  You need to get your facts straight counselor.


As much as you may think Drew will make such a difference with his "one world series worth of experience" under his belt your delusional.  IMHO, you are giving him far too much credit.  As you mentioned David Wright has that experience.  Let's not forget Granderson and Colon have  post season experience as well.


The bottom line is I'm not happy with this team, but I personally don't think Steven Drew makes that much of a difference.  He's a .264 career hitter coming off a .253 year last year in a lineup that had Ortiz, Gomes, Napolie, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Victorino, Saltalamachia- guys who could hit for power and get on base.  I highly doubt this years team will come close to producing power numbers and/or OPS numbers that Boston did in 2013.  If Drew was so prolific, his anemic .253 average surely doesn't suggest that so do you really think acquiring Stephen Drew and his career .264 avg. and .329 obp is really going to make the impact you desire?  I seriously doubt it but if you really do think he is that type of player, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.


So, just to be clear, in case you didn't get it the first time-which you clearly didn't-I never once said I had any faith in Duda.  2.--I never once said Lowrie was the type of player you build a team around; in fact I said he was the type of player you add to supplement the core, which brings me to the third point-core?  Who are the Mets Core players-other than Wright?  You love the signing of Granderson and Young-ok I'll give you that; me-I'm taking a wait and see approach.  I personnaly do not "love" the signing of two players who have such a high strikeout rate, one who showed power but did it in Yankee stadium and is coming off an injury plagued season, and the other player is one who you keep your fingers crossed on hoping you can catch lightning in a bottle because he hit 32 home runs in 2007 but has had a rash of injuries and has been erratic as hell since then.  For some reason you love these two signings.  I hope your right, but I'm not sold.  Stephen Drew is not going to make that much of a difference on this team, in this ballpark, with this lineup.  I'll stick with Tejada, even though somehow  you think that means I'm "content."


I have no idea what you're talking about with the 86 team (No longer can you fill your team with grinders, add a power bat & a top-flight starting pitcher and be a perennially successful team).  Yeah, they were a bunch of grinders, but they were grinders who could play ball.  Hernandez, Backman, Knight, Carter, the heart and soul of that team.  Of course you had the power from more than one power bat in Carter, Strawberry, Mitchell who deserved alot more credit than he got.  Pitching-A top flight starting pitcher?  Aside from Gooden, what do you think Darling, Ojeda, Fernandez were?  I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say "a top flight starting pitcher..." are you even aware of who was on that team?  


It seems like your name may indicate you are a lawyer.  Maybe you just finished law school; maybe you just  finished paralegal studies.  Whatever the case may be, I suggest that A) you get your facts straight  before you make a point B) State the facts-only the facts; you sound like a Chris Matthews or Ed Schultze groupie and C)  Brush up on your reading comprehension skills so you are better able to comprehend things and also be in a better position to sound like you have at the very least a small baseball IQ so you can be taken seriously.

kappyesq
kappyesq

I can tell by your name & your comment on Lowrie about "not [being] afraid to get [his] uniform dirty," that you long for the days of the 1986 mets; a team full of grinders & big-heart players. I'm sorry to tell you this but you don't win like that anymore. Comparing Major League Baseball in 2014 to Major League Baseball in 1986 is like comparing night to day. It's like comparing pre-concussion awareness NFL to post-concussion awareness, player safety driven NFL. No longer can you fill your team with grinders, add a power bat & a top-flight starting pitcher and be a perennially successful team. Nowadays you need to have plus players in just about every slot in the lineup, at least 2 front-end starters, and a reliable set-up man & a lights out closer to have a chance. There are still spots for grinders, players like Lowrie, but they are no longer players you build around. A player like Lowrie is a player you add to a team when you have a core in place. The Mets don't have a full core of players to start adding complementary around. The Mets have Wright, Granderson, Harvey, and Wheeler; they need to add another couple hitters (possibly 1 if d'Arnaud steps up) & one more pitcher (maybe Syndergaard if he lives up to his hype) before they have a core that is capable of winning. With that being said, I don't understand why you are so deadest against the Mets signing Drew. Your position that Drew & Boras are holding teams hostage is flat-out wrong. For a player like Drew, the money & years he can be had for is very reasonable. Right now Drew can be had for 2 years $24 million or 3 years $33 million. That is not bad at all when it comes to signing an above average SS. As a whole the SS position is not very deep throughout baseball. If Drew were a corner OF he would command only Chris Young money, but being that he is a SS, he commands more money. When you compare the two players, Drew is a 10x better player than Tejada, thus logically he deserves 10x Tejada's money. Some of these advanced statistics out there say Tejada is a better fielder than Drew, but the eye test doesn't buy it. Drew gets to balls that Tejada only dreams of reaching. These so-called advanced stats say Drew would only equate to 2 more wins than the Mets would have should they stick with Tejada. That may be true, but 89 wins could mean going home while 91 wins could mean playing in the Wild Card play-in game. Additionally, there isn't a statistic that shows the value of having a veteran with playoff & World Series experience on a very young team that is seeking to make noise in the NL East & NL as a whole in 2014 & 2015. Wright is the only player that has solid playoff experience on the Mets & he hasn't been there some 2006. Drew won a World Series in Boston, the only place with more rabid baseball media than NY. Trust me, that goes a long way on a young team. You say you're not content with losing, but if you are okay with giving Tejada and Duda yet another shot, then you are content with losing because that is what the Mets will do if either player is anything more than a reserve on this roster. Promises were made by this team to the fans about upgrading the talent on this roster & while I like the Young signing & LOVE the Granderson signing, they haven't done much & they haven't followed through on their promises. If Alderson cannot get creative & Drew is the only option to Tejada at SS, then he should pull the trigger. It is not the ideal situation, but it is an upgrade. Tejada is not a good player & it's time to move on. It's time for the Mets to move on from all the AAAA players, especially Duda & Tejada.

Bringback86
Bringback86

I agree w what ur saying about upgrading...I just would rather see the Mets go w Tejada than Drew. Drew is a dog so why tie up the $$$ on him when what you'd get from Tejada won't be that much different. Who else is out there? I wouldn't mind seeing the Mets get someone like Lowrie---he's a grinder, not afraid to get uniform dirty, he hustles, plays w high energy, and makes things happen. If u look at his numbers they're nothing special, but, he's got all the intangibles. Not someone you'd build a team around, but the type of player who supplements the core.

Bringback86
Bringback86

How in your infinite wisdom do you ascertain I am "content with pretty much the same starting lineup" when the discussion was about one player. I can't help it if you'Re not smart enough to discern what the hell is going on.