Quintanilla's bat has been nice bonus for Mets

Quintanilla's bat has been nice bonus for Mets

NEW YORK -- While shortstops Ruben Tejada and Ronny Cedeno continue rehab and running programs to return from the disabled list, Omar Quintanilla continues to impress. And manager Terry Collins admits he knew little about the 30-year-old before his arrival in New York.

"I just talked to [Triple-A Buffalo manager Wally Backman] enough and he said, 'If you ever need a defensive shortstop, we've got one,'" Collins said. "That's enough of a recommendation for me."

Quintanilla, who is playing with a small fracture in his left index figure, started the past 10 games for the Mets entering Saturday's matchup with the Yankees in the Bronx. Tejada is supposed to resume his rehab Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Cedeno is supposed to push himself on the basepaths Sunday.

Quintanilla, meanwhile, has been hitting eighth or ninth in the batting order and entered Saturday with a .321 average, four doubles and seven runs scored. He doubled in the sixth inning Friday to break up Hiroki Kuroda's no-hit bid, then walked and scored the Mets' only run in the ninth.

"In his spot [in the lineup], if he hits, that's a plus, that's extra," Collins said. "I want him to catch the baseball. I want him to go out there behind the pitching staff and make the routine play, and he's done that. If he hits, that's a plus."