It will be a big night at Citi Field Tuesday — Jose Reyes is making his return in his hideous Miami Marlins uniform. The Mets plan to honor him with a pre-game video tribute. Hopefully the fans won’t boo him. After all, it’s not his fault he left Flushing; Sandy Alderson never made an offer to keep him.
But that is all past history. It is time to look at the present, specifically, how is his replacement, Ruben Tejada doing? The answer is just fine, thank you.
Defensively, Tejada is nearly Reyes’s equal. He has the range that Reyes has, and thus far has not made any of those lost concentration errors that Reyes would make on occasion. Tejada does not have the cannon for an arm that Reyes has, but he makes up for it by getting rid of the ball faster.
Tejada will never be Reyes offensively, and fortunately he is not trying to be. But he isn’t bad at the plate. Tejada is batting .263 but he has a .344 on-base percentage. In his Mets career Reyes had a .341 on-base percentage. Tejada has seven doubles, tied for second most in the National League.
“I think the thing that’s been best is that he hasn’t tried to do more than he’s able to do. He hasn’t tried to live up to being Jose Reyes. He’s gone out and played very good defensively. Offensively he’s the same guy we saw last fall,” Terry Collins said.
Of course we all wish Reyes were still here, but Tejada has been a more-than-adequate replacement and because he is only 22, a very mature 22 at that, he will only get better.