Tejada taking his turns against lefties

Tejada taking his turns against lefties

NEW YORK -- Ruben Tejada started on Tuesday against a left-handed starter and will do so on Wednesday as well. With the Mets out of the playoff race, that makes sense. Yet such opportunities have been rare for Tejada this September, despite the fact that manager Jerry Manuel sees him as a leading candidate to man second base next season.

"It will depend, basically, upon the bat," Manuel said. "If we see significant improvement in the bat between now and the start of next season, you definitely have to consider him as a guy that has a chance to be a starter."

Entering Tuesday's play, Tejada was hitting just .193 with eight extra-base hits in 171 at-bats. That's certainly on the low end of what Manuel expects from Tejada, though the 20-year-old certainly showed positive signs on Tuesday, rapping a hit in each of his first three at-bats.

"I hope to see some good at-bats, quality at-bats and for him to play the defense that he's played all year," Manuel said. "He's a guy that when you win, he's somehow in the mix."