Ruben Tejada is due to move his rehab assignment to Buffalo after a pair of games manning shortstop for Class A St. Lucie, Terry Collins said.
New York Mets
Tejada had been with the Triple-A club two weeks ago, but was forced to pull himself from a June 5 rehab game because of a flareup with his right quadriceps, which originally sent him to the disabled list on May 7. In two games with St. Lucie, Tejada went 1-for-9.
Ronny Cedeņo and Tejada temporarily will play alongside each other with the Bisons, although Collins expects Cedeņo (calf) to return from the DL first -- and very possibly for Friday's Subway Series opener against the Yankees. Entering Wednesday night's game at Norfolk, Cedeņo is 4-for-21 in five full games at shortstop with Buffalo.
In the past, Collins steadfastly has said Cedeņo would be the starter at shortstop when he is active at the major league level and Tejada is unavailable. That was no longer Collins' position Wednesday.
In fact, Collins predicted lefty-hitting Omar Quintanilla would start Saturday against right-hander Ivan Nova, with the righty-hitting Cedeņo potentially starting against southpaws Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia in the other two games. Then again, Collins left open the possibility of Quintanilla starting all three games.
New York Mets
Quintanilla being around this weekend creates another question: Who goes down when Cedeņo, then Tejada are activated? Since Quintanilla is out of options and would need to be exposed to waivers, team officials are concerned they would lose him.
Would Jordany Valdespin go back to Buffalo, at least to create one spot? Very possibly, although perhaps demoting Vinny Rottino in the first maneuver makes some sense, since Justin Turner is back and can cover first base against tough lefties.
Stay tuned to how Valdespin performs Wednesday night. Collins is starting Valdespin for a third straight game, this time back at second base over a slumping Daniel Murphy, who is hitting just .171 in the Mets' last 10 games.
Collins said he's playing the hot hand Wednesday night, and cited Valdespin's energy, power potential and his knack for driving in runs.
"Right now, with him swinging the bat the way he is, he's going to stay in the lineup," Collins said.