The New York Mets will replace Jeff McNeil on the active roster with a blast from the past. Ruben Tejada will join the club on Wednesday in Atlanta.
On Tuesday, the New York Mets received quite a scare as their star utilityman, Jeff McNeil, limped off the field in the 9th inning of their 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Fans held their breath as losing McNeil for an extended period of time could prove to be deadly to the Mets’ chances at making a run at the NL Wild Card.
Luckily, the Mets seem to have caught a break as Anthony DiComo and others have reported that McNeil is expected to only miss ten days with a mild hamstring strain. The Amazins’ will turn to a familiar face to fill McNeil’s roster spot as Ruben Tejada is set to put on a Mets’ uniform for the first time since Chase Utley broke his leg during the 2015 NLDS.
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The Mets signed the 29-year-old back in March and he has spent his season playing for their Double and Triple-A affiliates. Tejada has not appeared in a Major League game since 2017, so what has he been up too since his last appearance in Queens?
The New York Mets originally signed Ruben Tejada all the way back in 2006, it is crazy to think that he is still only 29 years old. The righty spent his first six seasons with the Amazins’ where he recorded 493 hits and an overall slash line of .255/.330/.323. Ruben Tejada was never a terrific player for the Mets, but he held his own through a lot of playing time on a number of sub-par Mets teams.
After leaving New York, Tejada spent time on the Cardinals, Giants, and Orioles where he mostly struggled during brief opportunities. As mentioned, the Mets brought Tejada’s familiar face back into their organization prior to the beginning of 2019. Brodie Van Wagenen made it his goal to build depth within his organization and Tejada was a part of this campaign. In my opinion, I believe that his signing was influenced by Omar Minaya’s return to the Mets’ front office. BVW’s other depth additions included the return of Dilson Herrera and Carlos Gomez, both who were players originally acquired during Minaya’s regime.
Either way, it will be fun to see Ruben Tejada return to the New York Mets. It is a shame that his initial stint with the Mets had to end with a brutal injury amid the team’s World Series run. The righty has been playing very well so far in 2019 as he has hit six home runs, driven in 39 RBIs and has posted an impressive slash line of .337/.412/.486.
Can Ruben Tejada be an adequate replacement for Jeff McNeil? Maybe, maybe not, as we will probably see Joe Panik fill most of the playing time in McNeil’s absence. Even with that said, I am excited to see what Ruben Tejada can do as he will connect a past generation of the New York Mets with their current roster.