St. Louis Cardinals: Ruben Tejada Not Worth the Hassle
The St. Louis Cardinals signed Ruben Tejada to replace the injured Jhonny Peralta. Tejada’s lack of production has fans wondering if he’s worth it.
The month was March and St. Louis Cardinals’ fans were breathing in the fresh air in Jupiter, Fla. Sure, the offense could have been better in 2015, but it was a new year, a new start
for this team.
into the seats at Roger Dean Stadium, eager to get their first taste of live baseball in almost five months. It wasn’t Opening Day, but it was open season.
It was a ball hit to shortstop, a very common thing to witness at a baseball game
. Little did fans know, that play would wreak havoc on plans for the offense this season.
Jhonny Peralta ranged to his right, made a slide to try to field that ball hit to shortstop, and came up wincing. It was such a harmless play, nobody watching thought anything was wrong.
One day later, the team announced Peralta had a torn thumb ligament. It was news Cardinals’ fans were used to hearing with another all-star player, Yadier Molina.
So, what were the Cardinals going to do? How would they replace the injured Peralta? They signed a man by the name of Ruben Tejada. No, not Miguel, he retired years ago. Ruben Tejada, however, was famous in his own right.
You may remember an infamous slide in the 2015 postseason. Ruben Tejada was trying to turn a double play at second base for the New York Mets when the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley made a hard slide, upending Tejada.
Tejada broke his leg on that play, and now
there’s a slide rule in place known as simply, the “Utley Rule.” The signing of Tejada wasn’t a surprising one. He seemed like the answer to the Cardinals’ problem, except he caught the injury bug too.
Tejada would start the season on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps muscle. Again, an injury known too well by Cardinals’ fans.
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Unfortunately for Ruben Tejada, his injury turned into a positive omen for a Cardinals’ offense that looked flat in spring training. You all know the Aledmys Diaz story by now.
The great news for Tejada is he’s healthy now. The bad news is Diaz is killing the ball. A player who was once thought as the savior of Cardinals Nation, is now a bench player, and an unproductive one at that.
Since coming off the disabled list, Tejada’s offense hasn’t been what fans had hoped. Then again, his career numbers aren’t that impressive either.
Tejada is hitting .200/.250/.267 so far. In 16 plate appearances he’s strike out three times. His only bright spot so far has been his one extra base hit, a double.
Tejada has played five games at shortstop and committed an error. In two games at third base, he’s committed an error. If you want to dig deep into the numbers, Tejada’s Wins Above Replacement is at a flat zero.
If you look at his numbers in 2015 with the Mets, it was pretty much his best year in the major leagues. He finished the year .261/.338/.350. That was the highest batting average he’s had.
His three home runs and 28 RBI in 116 games isn’t that great either. That’s not to say Tejada has to smack 30 home runs and drive in 100, but he has to be productive off the bench.
Once Jhonny Peralta comes back, General Manager John Mozeliak will have some tough decisions to make. Maybe Tejada’s defense is just good enough to warrant a trade to a team that needs some help.
In exchange, the Cardinals may want to boost their starting pitching. Mark Saxon of ESPN.com reported Saturday that Carlos Martinez is being investigated for domestic abuse.
If something comes of the allegations, the already banged up Cardinals’ rotation could be in even more trouble.
Next: Errors Building for Cardinals
What do you think of Ruben Tejada so far? Should the Cardinals use him to try to reel in a decent starter? Let us know in the comments what your thought is on what Tejada could bring.