Ruben Tejada has spent over three weeks now on the disabled list with a pulled quad muscle. The Mets are optimistic that Tejada can return to the Mets lineup within a week. Ronny Cedeno, who was signed to be an insurance plan for Tejada, is currently injured and could possibly land on the DL for the second time this year. The Mets are also optimistic Cedeno will avoid the DL. If you have followed the Mets over the past four years, you know that you cannot trust such statements. Whether its Tejada, Cedeno, C Josh Thole or anybody else, I don't believe they are ok until they are back on the field playing for the Mets. With Justin Turner, the Mets third choice to start at SS, now on the DL, the Mets have called up Omar Quintanilla from AAA Buffalo. Quintanilla is the Mets forth string SS. David Wright and Jordany Valdespin have also played SS this year, meaning six players have manned the position this season.
The question I posed in my title could be answered very quickly. If Tejada returns shortly and plays without injury as often as he did for the better part of his first two seasons with the Mets, the Mets have their regular SS. The Mets could make a DL decision on Cedeno, or send Quintanilla back to AAA. If Tejada remains in the starting line-up, who is backing him up is not as important. The Mets are a better team with Cedeno and Turner, but Quintanilla will not be playing that much if he is a back-up. Essentially Vinny Rottino would be taking one of their spots, and he has shown a little power lately.
Hopefully this is not the first of many leg injuries for Tejada. Within a couple of healthy weeks of him returning, many fans will forget about his recent injury. If something crops up again soon, questions will start to arise over whether this is another Jose Reyes situation, without a Reyes upside. Heres to hoping Ruben Tejada is returning to stay the Mets SS; and there is no curse at the Mets SS position.