MILWAUKEE -- Ruben Tejada has to wait another game before he can try out his new batting helmet. The old one was cracked when Taijuan Walker beaned him with a 94 mph fastball in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Mariners in Seattle.
Manager Terry Collins is taking the cautious route with his 24-year-old shortstop.
“Talked to the trainers last night,” Collins said. “We thought we’d give him one more day just as a precaution. He feels great. Said he could play, but we’ll just give him today and get him back in there tomorrow.”
Tejada, who was cleared to fly with the team to Milwaukee, said that he didn’t have any headaches, dizziness or blurred vision.
“I feel good,” he said, adding that he had watched the video replay of that painful moment. “It looked bad. It scared me. I heard the sound.”
Tejada said that he had never been hit in the head before at any level of baseball.
Infielder Wilmer Flores, 22, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas, and outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was optioned to make room for him. It’s Flores’ third stint with the big club this season. He was up from May 8-June 25 and from April 2-6. He’s batting .225 (18-80) with three doubles, one home run and seven RBIs in 25 games during those stretches.
Flores was swinging the bat real well before the call-up. He was batting .323 with 43 runs scored, 11 doubles, 13 home runs and 57 RBIs in 55 games with Las Vegas.
Collins would like to keep the youngster’s bat in the lineup but knows that Tejada gets his old spot back for Friday night’s game against the Brewers.
So, will Flores take the plane back to Las Vegas right away?
New York Mets
Collins didn’t think so. In fact, he thought that Flores might even play a few more infield positions before a decision has to be made.
“We’re going to try to work him into the lineup as best we can,” Collins said. “Make sure he gets at-bats, maybe split some time with Ruben, give Dan [Murphy] a day off here or there, maybe have him play third base once in a while.”
Right now, Collins doesn’t want the distraction of having to decide between Tejada and Flores.
“We’re playing pretty good,” Collins said. “I’m trying to keep things from being disruptive as much as I can. I like the way things are going right now.”