Rejoice, all you Ruben Tejada lovers! Your beloved shortstop is back!
The Mets' Opening Day shortstop has been activated from the disabled list (as was relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez) after being sidelined for the past seven weeks with a thigh injury. Infielder Jordany Valdespin will be leaving 'Spin Citi to return to AAA-Buffalo to make room for Tejada on the active roster.
Tejada will be the starting shortstop and will bat second in tonight's rubber match against the Yankees, according to the Mets' official Twitter account.
#Mets Sunday lineup vs. Yankees: Torres-CF, Tejada-SS, Wright-3B, Hairston-LF, Duda-RF, Turner-1B, Cedeno-2B, Thole-C, Dickey-RHP
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 24, 2012
Since Tejada was injured on May 6, the Mets have started four different players at shortstop, with Omar Quintanilla (21 games), Ronny Cedeño (16 games), Justin Turner (6 games) and the recently-demoted Jordany Valdespin (1 game) all taking turns keeping the position warm for Tejada's eventual return.
That return will come tonight. Prior to his injury, Tejada was hitting .305 with ten doubles in 27 games, all while playing a smooth shortstop (only two errors in 111 chances). Sabermetricians will also be quick to point out that Tejada is one of only two Mets this year (David Wright is the other) to rank in the team's top five in offensive WAR (0.9, 4th on the team) and defensive WAR (0.3, 3rd on the team). For those not into the advanced metrics, that's pretty darn good.
Hakuna Tejada! Ruben is back, well-rested and (hopefully) fully recovered from his thigh injury and embarrassing face plant that kept him on the sidelines since early May. His presence in the lineup and on the field can only help the Mets as they try to continue their improbable run to the top of the division.