Mets Spring Training Question 12: Shortstop
With a dozen days left before pitchers and Molinas report to spring training, the Mets have a question to answer at shortstop.
For those who just came out of hibernation, last year’s starting shortstop — Jose Reyes — left the team for the warm winds of Miami. It is presumed that youngster Ruben Tejada will step right in and be the Mets’ 2012 shortstop. But is it that cut and dried? Is there a possibility that the Mets break camp with someone else standing next to David Wright on the diamond?
It would seem to be a foregone conclusion that Tejada is the 2012 shortstop, and of the future, for the Mets. We are assuming that he will look at least as good as he did last year, when he filled in ably at short when Reyes was on the DL. At the same time, he was a little erratic at short compared to how confident and natural he looked at second base; that said, do we know for sure which side of 2B Tejada belongs? Might we see him playing both positions in 2012?
Further, what if Tejada looks completely overmatched at shortstop during spring training? Would the Mets start the season with Ronny Cedeno at short, and send Tejada down to AAA for more seasoning at the position? Or would they keep him up with the big club, working him in and out of the lineup until he earns a starting job? I wonder if the former makes more sense; at age 22, Tejada is still very young, and may benefit more by regular reps rather than sporadic starts.
What do you think? If Tejada can’t corral the starting shortstop job, should he be on the 25-man roster or should he be in Buffalo on Opening Day? Post your thoughts in the comments.