Tejada's glove key to future

When Luis Castillo returns from the disabled list the New York Mets will face the difficult choices to make at second base: Experience or youth? Bat or glove? Castillo or Ruben Tejada?

Since being promoted in early June, Tejada has batted .243 in 23 games, including a 10-game hitting streak over the final two weeks of last month. He is a contact hitter with excellent speed and a great glove.

Tejada has moved through the Mets farm system playing shortstop. Since arriving in New York he has spent most of his playing time at second base, making some fantastic plays in the field.

Tejada is a natural infielder and a quick learner, hence his strong play at second base despite playing very limited time there. Reyes was briefly moved to second base when Kazuo Matsui arrived in 2004. The experiment quickly failed. However, Tejada is making the transition, an indication that a temporary the positional switch could work.

With Jose Reyes, David Wright, Ike Davis, Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran‘s return expected soon, Tejada will not be forced into producing offense, thus making his glove and speed a valuable asset to the team.

His future will be tied to Castillo and/or if the Mets make a trade in the coming weeks. After the season, Castillo will have one year left on his four-year $25 million contract, which would make it easier to move him in the off-season, opening the door for Tejada.

1 comment for “Tejada's glove key to future

  1. July 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    You are right – Mets face key decision what to do here. Previously they have always wanted to play Castillo to get some return on the contract but it might be different this time.

    I’ve been very impressed with Tejada defensively at both 2B and SS. At the very worst he’s a MLB utility player and he might develop with the bat enough to be a starter.

    I don’t mind seeing the Mets play Castillo – I think he’s a decent offensive player. But they ought to treat him like they do Chris Carter – after he’s had his AB in the 6th inning, take him out for defense.

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