Tejada with the New York Mets
|San Francisco Giants|
|Shortstop / Second baseman|
October 27, 1989 |
Santiago de Veraguas, Panama
|April 7, 2010, for the New York Mets|
(through May 26, 2016)
|Runs batted in||151|
Rubén Darío Tejada (born October 27, 1989) is a Panamanian professional baseball infielder for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.
Tejada was born in Santiago de Veraguas in western Panama to Rubén, Sr., a mechanic, and Donaji Tejada, a secretary. Tejada also has a younger brother, Ernie. Tejada grew up mere feet away from Omar Torrijos Herrera Stadium where his father was also a pitcher for Los Indios de Veraguas.
Growing up, Tejada's favorite baseball players were shortstops Derek Jeter and Omar Vizquel. In 2001, Tejada played for the Santiago de Veraguas Little League team which represented the Latin American region at the Little League World Series. In 2003, at 13 years old, Tejada began playing for Los Indios de Veraguas’ junior team as a pitcher.
Tejada signed with the Mets as an international free agent in 2006. He debuted in professional baseball in 2007. He has played for the Gulf Coast Mets, Venezuela Mets, St. Lucie Mets and Binghamton Mets. He also played for the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League.
New York Mets
Tejada was invited to spring training with the Mets in 2010. He was the youngest position player on the Mets Opening Day roster since Tim Foli in 1971. On April 7, 2010 he made his major league debut and went 0-for-2 with a HBP in 3 Plate Appearances. On April 9, 2010 he recorded his first major league hit off the Washington Nationals' Tyler Walker.
With the activation of Luis Castillo from the DL on July 19, 2010, the Mets optioned Tejada to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. He hit .212 in 104 at-bats with the Mets.
On September 5, 2010 in the seventh inning Tejada hit his first major league home run off Cubs pitcher Marcos Mateo on the first pitch.
Once Jose Reyes signed with the Miami Marlins, Rubén Tejada became the New York Mets starting shortstop for the 2012 season. On August 1, 2012, Tejada hit his second home run in the majors against Matt Cain of the Giants, his first home run since September 5, 2010.
Tejada was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quad and called up shortstop Omar Quintanilla from the Mets triple-A affiliate Las Vegas 51s to take his spot on the roster. After Quintanilla's unexpected performance however, the Mets optioned Tejada to Las Vegas.
Tejada suffered a broken right fibula in the second game of the 2015 NLDS vs the Dodgers as a result of Chase Utley sliding into him while ill advisedly turning his back to the play. Utley did not aim for the base but rather right at Tejada to break up a double play "in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a) (13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base." In addition to being kicked in the head during the slide Utley was suspended for two games as a result but later successfully appealed the suspension.
St. Louis Cardinals
On March 19, 2016, Tejada signed a one-year contract worth $1.5 million with the St. Louis Cardinals. Expected to fill in for the injured Jhonny Peralta at shortstop, Tejada himself injured his quad in the final game before the season, landing on the disabled list to begin the season. Tejada was activated on April 18, but the opening at shortstop was no longer there, having been filled instead by Aledmys Díaz. Tejada made his first major league appearance as a pitcher on May 20 in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching one complete inning while allowing two earned runs, on back-to-back home runs to Chris Herrmann and Brandon Drury. The Cardinals designated Tejada for assignment on May 28. He had six hits in 34 at bats. Tejada declined the outright assignment, becoming a free agent.
San Francisco Giants
On June 13, Tejada signed a minor league contract downgrading his salary with the San Francisco Giants. On June 29, Tejada was called up and started at third base after Matt Duffy was put on the 15-day disabled list.
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- "Mets place struggling shortstop Rubén Tejada on the DL, recall Omar Quintanilla from Las Vegas". NY Daily News. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- Ortiz, Jorge L. (October 11, 2015). "Ruben Tejada has broken fibula, Dodgers a winning rally after Utley slide". USA Today. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- Saxon, Mark (October 12, 2015). "Chase Utley suspended 2 games for slide into Ruben Tejada, will appeal". ESPN. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
- "Mets place Rubén Tejada on waivers". ESPN.com. Associated press. March 15, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Todd, Jeff (March 16, 2016). "Mets release Rubén Tejada". MLBTradeRumors. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Martin, Dan (March 19, 2016). "Cardinals scoop up Ruben Tejada for possible Mets torment". New York Post. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
- Goold, Derrick (March 31, 2016). "Tejada headed to disabled list; Hazelbaker makes opening day roster". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Langosch, Jenifer (April 18, 2016). "Tejada returns from DL for utility role: Hot-hitting Diaz to remain starting shortstop; G. Garcia sent to Triple-A". stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
- Landers, Chris (May 20, 2016). "The Cardinals called on infielder Ruben Tejada to pitch the ninth ... with extremely mixed results". MLB.com. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
- RotoWire Staff (May 28, 2016). "Cardinals' Ruben Tejada: Designated for assignment Saturday". CBSSports.com. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- Grossman, Connor (June 13, 2016). "Giants sign Ruben Tejada to minor league deal". KNBR.