Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Ruben Tejada Might Be More Valuable Than You Thought
Tejada was having a great season before his fluke injury sidelined him for the last month, but his absence has shown just how much the Mets need him in the lineup every day.
He gives the Mets a reliable lead off hitter. I'm not suggesting Tejada is the best lead off man in the NL East or anything like that but look at how many different people have batted lead off since Tejada went out. You have Baxter, Kirk, Turner, Cedeno and others. Whenever Collins puts a new lead off man in there it messes with the rest of the lineup. When Tejada is playing you know he can bat lead off and then everyone else can fall into their normal batting slot.
The same thing happens in the field as Tejada is the linchpin of that infield. With him out, it's a carousel out there. Cedeno, Wright, Turner & Valdespin have all played short in his absence and it effects Murphy's progress at 2nd base as he doesn't have that familiar and reliable man to his right that he can develop a rythmn with on double plays and covering a runner stealing a base.
Tejada also has great plate discipline to work counts. He can be relied upon to bunt. And although he hasn't done much of it this year so far, he's one of the few options the Mets have to try and steal a base if they need it.
When you put all this together and look at the other everyday players the Mets have, outside of David Wright and possibly Daniel Murphy there isn't another Met who's as integral to the whole ball club as Ruben Tejada.
We need him back more than you might think.