Mets, Terry Collins not worried about Ruben Tejada yet

Jim McIsaac

New York's starting shortstop has been dreadful on defense so far, but manager Terry Collins will stick with him for now.

Those of you who stayed up to watch the second leg the Mets' doubleheader in Denver on Tuesday night had the pleasure of watching Ruben Tejada make an awful play that helped decide the game. With two outs in the eighth inning, Bobby Parnell induced a ground ball that should have preserved a two-run lead, but instead Tejada airmailed the throw, allowing the Rockies to tie the score.

Unfortunately, this latest gaffe is one of six errors on the young season for Tejada, who is last in the majors in fielding percentage. Compare that to last year, when Tejada committed just 12 errors all season, and you have to wonder if something is wrong with the 23-year-old shortstop.

Mets manager Terry Collins, for one, isn't worried that much.

"I've seen this guy play too much," Collins said after Wednesday's game against the Colorado Rockies was snowed out. "I've never seen this. Never. Had I seen this in the past sometime, I may be concerned about it."

Before this season, Tejada was seen as a solid-but-not-spectacular defensive player. He didn't always make the flashy plays, but he also rarely made mistakes. This season the mistakes have come in abundance, but Collins is right. Last season is a much bigger sample than the young 2013 campaign.

Collins may not be singing the same tune if the Mets had an acceptable reserve on the roster, but it doesn't matter because they don't. Justin Turner is the only other player on the active roster who could play short. In Las Vegas, Omar Quintanilla has shown to be a capable substitute, but his call-up would require a cut to New York's 40-man roster. That doesn't seem worth it since Quintanilla would just be keeping the position warm.

Collins is making the right move by refusing to panic yet, because even if he were panicking, what else could the Mets do?

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