The Ruben Tejada Debate Continued


At times the Mets have stocked their Spring Training roster and minor leagues with former Major League players.  

Many never made it back to the big leagues (for example, Scott Erickson, Benito Santiago, Ruben Sierra, etc.)  Some, made it back and did not perform (think Jose Lima). 

For all these former players trying to hang on or make it back to the majors, I think there were two that came through and made a big impact to the Mets, Jose Valentin and Fernando Tatis, Sr. 

After a 30 homer, .216 BA, 1.8 WAR at age 34 season for the White Sox in 2004, Jose Valentin had a tough season for the 2005 Dodgers at age 35 hitting just .170 BA, 2HR, with a -0.2 WAR.  Based on that I was wondering what the heck the Mets were doing picking this guy.  

But he had a very nice season for the Mets in 2006, solidifying the infield and hitting .271 with 18 HR and a 3.6 WAR.  He also had a knack for getting big hits at the right time, like the homer in the 2006 division clinching game. 

After being out of baseball since 2003, Fernando Tatis at age 31 decided to make a come back in 2006 with the Baltimore Orioles spending the majority of the year at Baltimore’s AAA affiliate. Fernando signed with the Mets in 2007 was sent to AAA hit .276 with 21 homers but did not receive a call-up (not even in September).  

In 2008, at age 33, it was back with the Mets, and back in AAA.  However, this time Fernando got the call.  In about 4 months and 273 at-bats, Fernando hit .297 with 11 HR and 47 RBI’s. Until he was injured in Mid-September, like Jose Valentin, Fernando had the knack for getting big hits.

Now we are talking about the merits of Ruben Tejada.  Last year he did not make it out of AAA for Baltimore hitting just .230 in 101 games.  

In 2017, after time in AAA for the Yankees and Orioles, he hit .230 for Baltimore in 41 games.  This year after 66 games, he is hitting .351 at AAA Syracuse.  

Does that mean Ruben can put up these numbers in the Majors?  Tough to say.  Adeiny Hechavarría hit .348 in 25 games for Syracuse this year but only .216 in 58 games for the Mets this year.  Also, unlike Fernando and Jose, Ruben never had sustained success in the majors. 

Will Ruben be another success story like Jose or Fernando or one of the many other veterans that never made it back?  

Past results seemed to indicate that he would not, but it would be fun to find out.  


Tom Brennan said...

We could use that Fernando Tatis as a back up OF today - but I'd settle for Tatis Jr, wouldn't you?

Tejada is in a tough position - not an outfielder, not on the 40 man, and in an era where teams carry only 13 position players. If it were still 15 like in the old days, he'd have been in the majors for 2 months already.

John From Albany said...

Cuse got no hit last night losing 2-1. Tejada led off the ninth - call strike - call strike - ball - swinging strike. Not the best at bat. Of course Cuse had an 11 hour bus ride from Buffalo to Durham this Monday. Such are the minor leagues.

Reese Kaplan said...

I think he will flop but I'd trade him for Hechavarria who has hit .176 since June 1st. I doubt he'd be worse than that.

Tom Brennan said...

Ruben has fanned only about once every 7 PAs this year, so I think he'd make good contact.

But like Reese said recently, would he return as Eric Campbell? I don't think so, as Eric compiled his similar AAA stats in hitter-friendly Vegas.

But Panik is a young, former gold glover - somehow, he'd be my first choice over Ruben. .235 in the majors this year is not great, but it is still .235 with great D in the majors. Ruben is also solid in the field, but it seems Panik should get the edge there.

Flip a coin?

Reese Kaplan said...

I'd sooner see Luis Guillorme starting than Panik. Guillorme adds a left handed bat and he's reputed to be a very slick fielder. I'd then take Tejada over Pankik as the backup, dropping Hechavarria. At least with Tejada there's a remote glimmer of some offensive potential. If he does hit, then you can use Guillorme as the late inning defensive replacement when needed.

Tom Brennan said...

My guess is if Panik clears waivers, Mets get him - Hech or Luis go back down. See if Panik catches fire.

Sept 1, Ruben can come up.

Roster expansion is still up to 40 this year, so if they remain in the race, expect to see several guys promoted.

bill metsiac said...

I'd rather bring up Ruben and sign Panik, but send him upsyate to play regularly. Then, if Ruben fails, flip-flop them. I don't know if Panik would agree to that, though.

Meanwhile, the team is doing just fine now, with Luis and Hech sharing the job. Hech is a career .252 hitter, and a superb fielder, so he's earned a more extended look.

As Dear Abby used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". 😄

Reese Kaplan said...

.176 since June 1st is beyond broken

Tony said...

They can call up Ruben in September

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