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Ruben Tejada Should Play Every Day

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April 15, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (11) drives in a run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
April 15, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (11) drives in a run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

During the SNY broadcast on Saturday, someone in the booth mentioned that Terry Collins has a plan to give Ruben Tejada a day off approximately once every other week this season. Over the course of the 162-game season, Tejada will play about 150 games if Collins sticks to the schedule. It's not exactly the end of the world, but giving a 22-year-old player with no significant injury history scheduled off days does not make much sense.

Let's have a quick look at Tejada's playing time since he started playing professional baseball.

Year Age G PA
2007 17 67 298
2008 18 131 555
2009 19 134 553
2010 20 143 499
2011 21 150 607

Tejada's been capable of playing a whole lot of baseball since was 18. Considering the Mets' backup options at shortstop at Ronny Cedeno and Justin Turner, there's no real benefit to giving Tejada the day off. Since the "Verducci Effect" doesn't even apply to pitchers, it's hard to imagine that Collins is looking to protect Tejada from injury.

Tejada's absence isn't very likely to make him or the team any better. He will be the Mets' shortstop for the foreseeable future, and he may as well play as much as possible for both his own development and the Mets' ability to win ballgames this year.