PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- When manager Terry Collins caught sight of his slimmed-down shortstop for the first time this spring, he asked Ruben Tejada how much faster he is after an offseason of conditioning in snowy Michigan.
"I'll show you," Tejada shot back.
Collins and the rest of the Mets' staff are certainly eager to see, after twice sending Tejada to a fitness camp alongside Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores and several other Mets. Different players had different goals for the programs, which focused on cardiovascular work for some, quickness and agility for others, strength for still others.
For Tejada, the programs provided a structured offseason unlike anything he had ever experienced at home in Panama.
"I feel really good," Tejada said. "I feel like new."
Preoccupied with his own training, Tejada said he did not spend much time this winter thinking about the Mets' public pursuit of a starting shortstop replacement, even with free agent Stephen Drew still unsigned.
"He's a great kid," Collins said of Tejada, who hit .202 in 57 games last season. "He's coming into this camp with a different attitude and a different makeup, that there's something to prove. This kid's never seen weather like that before. And to deal with it not only one month, but to go back there and do it again, when he could be outside in Panama running and fielding ground balls, and he's in Ann Arbor, Mich., where there's 100 inches of snow, that tells you something."