MIAMI -- The Mets' everyday shortstop returned to the lineup on Friday. No, not Ruben Tejada -- he remains sidelined with a strained right quad. But the Mets did activate Ronny Cedeno from the disabled list prior to Friday's game, with plans to start him regularly at short until Tejada is ready to return.
Cedeno, who had been on the DL since April 21 with a strained left intercostal muscle, had just 12 at-bats in 10 games prior to the injury, primarily backing up Tejada at shortstop and subbing defensively for Daniel Murphy at second base. Now the Mets are asking him to start almost every game at short, which he was accustomed to doing the past two years in Pittsburgh.
"If it's going to be every day," Cedeno said, "I'm going to do the best I can."
To make room for Cedeno, the Mets optioned utility man Vinny Rottino to Triple-A Buffalo, sparing Jordany Valdespin another demotion. Though manager Terry Collins had been adamant in the past about keeping Valdespin off the big league roster if he would not be logging significant at-bats, his desire for another left-handed bat off the bench took precedence.
"We've had some issues before where we've ended up having nothing but right-handed hitters left," Collins said.
Keeping Valdespin also allows Collins to use Justin Turner at first and third base in a pinch rather than having to save him as a middle-infield sub. And the Mets can stomach the move knowing it is temporary; Tejada is eligible to return from the DL on May 22 and should be ready to do so around that time.