JUPITER, Fla. -- Aware of the need to demonstrate his readiness for a return to regular duty at shortstop, Ruben Tejada essentially excused himself from participating in the Mets' third Spring Training game Sunday. Tejada felt a tug in his left hamstring while taking ground balls and alerted the trainers. Manager Terry Collins removed the shortstop from the starting lineup.
Tejada said he never had experienced a comparable feeling in his left leg.
"I don't want to miss two or three weeks," he said, "so I told someone something [rather than risk greater injury]."
Tejada told Collins he could play, but, as Collins said, "It's March 2. You don't want little things becoming big things." So Anthony Seratelli played shortstop. Wilfredo Tovar, a young shortstop, hadn't made the trip here because of a right hamstring strain.
Tejada, 24, acknowledged when he arrived at camp that his job was on the line, though no suitable replacement was evident. The club became quite disillusioned with him last season. He was considered out of shape as he had been in spring 2012 after he essentially had been given the shortstop assignment in the aftermath of the departure of Jose Reyes.
Tejada spent most of last year at the Triple-A level even though he was physically able to play after recovering from a strained right quad.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.