The World Baseball Classic officially began on Tuesday night. Even though it’s still the beginning of March, we’ve got some meaningful baseball to watch, folks. This is also an opportunity to see current and former Mets players in action. That includes some certifiable legends like infielder Ruben Tejada.
I use the term “legend” loosely, and I certainly wasn’t expecting him to be providing numerous highlights right out of the gate. Tejada is playing for Team Panama, who is facing Chinese Taipei in Pool A.
As I sit here writing this, Panama is leading 11-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to two different frames with at least five runs. As you can imagine with the subject of this article, Tejada has had something to do with it. So far in the contest, Panama’s starting shortstop is 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored, and a walk. He also made this nice play on a line drive up the middle:
Rubén Tejada making it look easy out there 💪
📺: FS2 and the FOX Sports App pic.twitter.com/q3fZKRP0dq
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 8, 2023
It feels like Ruben has been around forever, hasn’t it? It also feels like we haven’t heard his name in just about forever. But then again, Tejada is only 33 years old as he enters the WBC. He had two different stints with the Mets. The first one included his debut in 2010 as a 20-year-old, and his last moment on the field was him breaking his leg in the 2015 NLDS as Chase Utley broke up a double play.
Tejada played affiliated baseball between 2016 and 2021, but only got two cups of coffee back in the big leagues. Those came in 2017 with the Baltimore Orioles (41 games) and in 2019 with the Mets (six games). He didn’t catch on with any organization in 2022. The shortstop’s most recent experience before the WBC came in the Dominican Winter League this past winter. He appeared in just five games and posted a .500 OPS in the process.
Seeing former players bring up a certain type of nostalgia, and I certainly get that watching Ruben Tejada play shortstop. It’ll be interesting to see what else comes of his performance in the tournament.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.