One of the Mets’ many questions entering the season is whether Ruben Tejada will be able to replace Jose Reyes at shortstop.
I’m not worried about the transition because frankly, few players are capable of replacing Reyes’ offensive production. Let’s assume right now he won’t post Reyes-like numbers. If Tejada can hit the .270 to .280 coach Chip Hale hopes for him, then I’ll be satisfied. I just don’t want Tejada to be overwhelmed or an easy out in the eighth spot in the order. If the latter is the case, the Mets would have almost certain back-to-back outs which would put a black hole in their line-up.
Tejada hit at times last season batting .284 with 36 RBI, but we’ll need to see how pitchers adjust now that they have a book on him. I’d sign up for another .284 right now.
Defensively, Tejada proved he could handle the position, so maybe that’s a wash. That’s also the most important part of his job.
The Mets have so many other issues to concern themselves with, that if shortstop is capably handled defensively, that’s a load off Terry Collins.
The Mets are a team in transition, not expected to contend. If things were different, they’d be worried about shortstop. Hell, if things were different, Reyes would be here.
For where this team is now, if Tejada can hold his own, that’s all you can ask.