After Ruben Tejada suffered a strained right quadriceps yesterday, a Mets source told The Post that MRI exam results on the shortstop were “not good’’ and that a trip to the disabled list was “very likely” though not a given.
With two outs in the fourth inning of the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks, Tejada’s spike caught in the clay as he legged out a bunt single. He stumbled onto first base, laying motionless for a minute before being helped off the field and replaced by Justin Turner. The status of Tejada, who also sustained facial bruises on the play, remains very much up in the air, subject to further evaluation today.
“The final decision won’t be made until he’s evaluated. Tejada still thinks he can play in a few days,’’ a source told The Post.
So per one source, it’s very likely but not a given that Tejada goes on the disabled list, Tejada thinks he can play in a few days and a final decision won’t be made until he’s evaluated. OK.
Tejada’s header was one of the worst-looking falls you’ll see on a baseball field without an obvious bone break or ligament tear. I was watching in a bar so we couldn’t hear the audio, and my friends and I watched the replay trying to figure out exactly which part of him seemed most likely to be hurting: Something in his leg prompted the fall, then he appeared to catch his wrist on the bag, then slammed his face on the ground.
If he’s actually bound for the disabled list, Ronny Cedeno can’t get back soon enough. Neither Justin Turner nor Jordany Valdespin is quite qualified to play shortstop at the Major League level. Turner will likely make the plays hit to him without covering much ground. Mets fans <3 Valdespin something fierce, I know, but Valdespin made 32 errors in 98 games at short in the Minors in 2011. Pro-rated to a full season, that’s about 50 errors. Maybe a first baseman of Ike Davis’ caliber saves him a few on throws, but it’s… well, it’s not good.
Cedeno won’t likely hit much, but he appears to be a capable and adequately rangy defender at short — something the Mets certainly need with Daniel Murphy and David Wright flanking the position and pitching staff that yields a fair amount of contact. The former Pirate, sidelined since April 21 with an intercostal strain, is set to begin a rehab assignment tomorrow and will be eligible to return on Friday.
If there’s a setback in Cedeno’s rehab, the Mets’ next best option is likely Omar Quintanilla. Quintanilla’s not on the 40-man roster and his career Major League offensive numbers are downright woeful, but he can play shortstop and, for what it’s worth, is off to a real nice start in Triple-A Buffalo. The 30-year-old has a .291/.378/.523 line through 28 games with the Bisons.
Also, if you’re still somehow greeting injuries like Tejada’s with a “here we go again, only the Mets, LOLMets” thing, you probably haven’t been paying much attention this season. From Wednesday-Saturday, the Brewers lost one starting player to injury every day — three of them requiring DL stints. The Nationals have Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Ryan Zimmerman, Brad Lidge and Drew Storen on the DL, among others. The Phillies are down Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and two bullpen arms. The Yankees have 10 guys on the disabled list, including Mariano Rivera. The Red Sox have 11, including Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford.
Injuries suck, but they happen. Best-case scenario for the Mets, Tejada only needs a few days and Turner doesn’t hurt them in the interim. Worst-case scenario, a fireball from space destroys the planet. Most likely, the outcome will fall somewhere between those two.