Exit Interview: Ruben Tejada

For the fifth straight year, we’re taking some time in that time between the end of the season and the winter meetings to discuss each player that made an appearance on the St. Louis roster this season.  Whether they played almost every day or never actually got into a game, they get covered in this series.  All stats are exclusively their time in St. Louis.   Just think of this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a quick evaluation before heading home for the winter.

This year’s Exit Interview series is “being brought to you by” some of the various Cardinal podcasts that are out there for your listening pleasure.  Our focus this time is Cubs Cards Cast.  No doubt it’s been tough for Dan, a Cards fan in Chicago, to talk with John, a Cubs fan in St. Louis, this season but they always are able to discuss both teams with only good-natured ribbing.  Find them on iTunes or check out their site!

Player: Ruben Tejada

Season stats: 23 games, 40 PA, 6 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K, .176/.225/.235, 24 OPS+, -0.4 bWAR

Hero/Goat: None

Overall grade: D

Positives: Had a double and a hit-by-pitch in his third game with the club….for the year (including his 13 games with the Giants), hit .267 with a .742 OPS against lefties….got a hit and an RBI in his only AB with a 3-0 count….hit .300 when there was only one out in an inning….hit .333 in medium leverage situations….got to be the “position player that pitches” on May 20, a week before he was released.

Negatives: Did not have a multi-hit game with the Cardinals….the above slash line is a pretty good indication of the effectiveness of his season….made two errors at short (37.1 innings) and one at second (4.2 innings) while in St. Louis….even struggled on the mound, allowing two runs in the inning he worked….hit .083 against right-handers….hit .158 in May….had a .404 OPS on the first pitch….find a split, it probably didn’t go his way.

Overview: It’s probably not nice to say that the biggest contribution Tejada made this season was to get hurt and clear the way for Aledmys Diaz, but the truth is often not very kind.  While it was the most unsurprising thing ever when the club signed him after the Mets released him and Jhonny Peralta was injured, even at the time it was a bit questionable given how Diaz was playing.  St. Louis wanted to give him more AAA time (a reasonable thought at the time) and they signed the veteran Tejada, who was supposed to at least give a good glove at short.  Tejada got hurt right at the end of spring, though, and by time he was healthy Diaz was hitting .500 and showing no signs of wanting to be supplanted.  The club gave him whatever shot they could, but thankfully they didn’t stick to it very long.  (Some would say 23 games was much longer than necessary, though.)

Outlook: Tejada was sent to the minors in July by the Giants and never returned, not even with expanded rosters.  It seems unlikely he’ll have much of a career going forward, though he’ll probably latch on to some organization and surface briefly in the bigs with a second division team.

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