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Giants beat reporters are not impressed with Miguel Tejada

Mar 22, 2011, 11:48 AM EDT

Miguel Tejada AP

Last night both Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News wrote about how awful Miguel Tejada looked at shortstop and how unproductive he’s been at the plate all spring.

First, here’s a tweet from Baggarly:

Not to be mean, but if I’m Tim Lincecum watching Miguel Tejada play short, I’m thinking I’d better strike out 400 this year.

Schulman merely tweeted that “Tejada looks really bad,” but then wrote this on his blog:

Everything you might have heard about Miguel Tejada’s difficulties this spring is true. He rarely barrels up a baseball at the plate. On the field, his range is nonexistent and most of his throws to first are weak, even on routine plays. He looks his age and then some. If Tejada plays like this during the season, his signing will have been a big mistake.

Schulman then did the usual reporter thing and said he’s “going to go on a limb and say he’ll be better when the games count.” Still, it’s pretty rare for a pair of beat writers to be so open in criticizing a veteran player in mid-March.

What’s especially interesting about the Tejada reports is that they imply some level of surprise that he’s no longer a capable defensive shortstop or an impact hitter at age 37, but both of those things have been true for several years now. Tejada posted underwhelming road numbers while with the Astros and then hit just .269 with a .692 OPS in 156 games between the Orioles and Padres last season.

And his defense has been rating out horribly for a while, with the Orioles using him as a third baseman and Ultimate Zone Rating pegging him as a 12 runs below average in 214 starts at shortstop since 2009. Very few shortstops remain capable defenders at age 37 and even fewer do so while being as bulky at Tejada.

All of which is why guys like me criticized the Giants for signing him to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the idea that he’d be their primary shortstop. In fact, my exact quote at the time was that “in signing Tejada the Giants are really sacrificing defense and offense for veteran-ness.” Now they’re just getting what they paid for.

  1. The Common Man/ - Mar 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    In the picture above, Tejada looks like Willie Mays. By which, I mean he looks like Willie looks today. Miguel Tejada looks like an old man, is what I think I’m saying.

  2. wickedworld123 - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Aaaaand we have another indefensible move on Sabean’s resume…

    • kmgannon - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      Absolutely. We all knew Bruce Bochy could manage, but managing a team that Sabean built to a world championship is skipper-ing of legendary proportions.

      • clydeserra - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM

        Bruce “hey Aubry, why don’t you have a career year? And hey, you pitchers over there, don’t nobody get hurt, we will need every last one of you when we pick up Pat Burrell off the scrap heap and he starts hittin like its 2008.”

        Bruce, to self “my work here is done.”

  3. ramblingalb - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Not his fault the Giants want him to play a position he is probably not suited for anymore. That said, even -10 runs is likely only a single win. Even if he only hits 692 OPS, that isn’t that bad for a SS. The bar is set so low, you have to be horrendous to matter much.

  4. apbaguy - Mar 22, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Thank you, ramblingalb. Exactly right. Keep in mind the Giants just came off two years of Renteria at short, so is Miggy really a downgrade? He is cheaper, also.

    Of course, someone has to point out that 1 win was their margin of victory over SD last year.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    If Tejada doesn’t work out, they could bring back Bengie Molina to play short. He played there before…in college…in 1991/92. He might be a bit young for the Giants, but they could use a kid like him around the clubhouse. Liven things up.

  6. mercyflush - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    what’s funny is that there are lots of Giants fans who think their team has no holes. They expect Tejada to be the 2003 version, Burrell to be the 2007 version, Cody Ross to be the postseason 2010 version (rather than the every-other-time-in-his-career version), etc. etc.

    The Giants have huge holes in their offense and defense, and will need a their starters and important relievers to have no injuries *and* to not regress at all in order for them to make the playoffs.

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