One of the catalysts to the New York Mets lineup is going to spend some time on the shelf after straining his right hamstring during Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves. Jeff McNeil is heading to the Injured List, which creates an opportunity for a former Mets shortstop to return….no it is not Jose Reyes.
Source: Jeff McNeil's MRI revealed only a mild left hamstring strain. The expectation is he will be able to return the Mets in 10 days.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 14, 2019
During the ninth inning of Monday’s loss, McNeil injured his hamstring attepmting to leg out a ground out. He made a final lunge towards the first base bag, but never actually touched it. His leg expected to absorb the impact of the bag and the shock of missing it tweaked the hamstring.
How to Replace McNeil
The Mets are still out of a playoff spot and his bat in the lineup is irreplaceable. McNeil solidified his spot as the Mets lead off man and was hitting .332. He is expected to be on the IL for 10 days, and the Mets need him back desperately. McNeil now joins Dom Smith and Robinson Cano as key Mets bats on the IL.
"It didn't feel great, I don't think it's terrible…I guess we'll see how it feels in the morning" – Jeff McNeil on his hamstring pic.twitter.com/W0AVo1DsAJ
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 14, 2019
He was battling multiple ailments throughout the season and was visibly frustrated as he limped back to the dugout. The damage was not as gruesome as Cano’s hamstring, which likely keeps him out through the season. McNeil and the organization hopes it only takes the minimum 10 days to fully recover.
Former Met Makes A Return
The last game Ruben Tejada played as a Met was Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. For all involved, except for Chase Utley, it did not have the ending he planned for. Utley broke Tejada’s leg with a dirty slide and he missed the rest of the Mets magical run to the World Series. In the two seasons following he spent time with the Cardinals, Giants and Orioles, but has not played in the big leagues since 2017.
— GENY Mets Report (@genymets) August 14, 2019
It seems like Tejada is an older veteran, but he still has not turned 30 yet. When the Mets first brought him to the big leagues, he was only 20 and had second base partners of Luis Castillo and Alex Cora in his first two starts. Tejada only had 10 home runs during his big league career, but already has six in the minors this season. Whether it has to do with the juiced balls or not remains to be seen, but he has been hitting to ball well to all fields and has a .330 average with the Syracuse Mets.
Tejada still plays third, short and second, which gives the Mets a solid defender at all three positions. Jacob Rhame will likely be moved to the 60-Day IL following elbow surgery to create room for Tejada. With a lefty on the mound for the Braves Wednesday night, Tejada could likely slide into McNeil’s spot at second base as the Mets search for a temporary leadoff hitter.