Collins plays hot hand with Tejada at short
NEW YORK -- In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's game against the Yankees, Mets manager Terry Collins said he planned to start Wilmer Flores at shortstop Wednesday.
That idea lasted all of half a day. By Wednesday afternoon, after meeting with his coaching staff, Collins decided that Ruben Tejada is simply "too hot to take out" of the lineup.
"You've got to ride that wave," Collins said. "This guy is really swinging the bat good. This kid has really put his mind to producing."
That means that Tejada has essentially won his job back with a three-game hot streak, despite the fact that the Mets initially wanted to give Flores an uninterrupted run of starts at the position. Tejada started at shortstop Sunday when Flores came down with an illness, hit a walk-off single later that day, and has not looked back since. In two games at Yankee Stadium, Tejada was 2-for-8.
The same logic has applied to the outfield, where Collins continues to play Eric Young Jr. despite his recent proclamation that Juan Lagares is the starting center fielder. Lagares sat for the second time in three games Wednesday while Young, who scored three runs Tuesday despite an 0-for-3 night, played left.
"You look at the balls he's hit lately, he's hit them hard," Collins said, noting that Young recently made an adjustment to his batting stance. "He's straightened up a little bit more at the plate, with a little bit more aggressive swing. He's done a good job. He's getting on, he's doing the things we want him to do, so he's back in there."