Spring Training Game Thread: Gardner’s Debut

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

For the first time this spring, Brett Gardner is in the Yankees’ lineup. Gardner is making his Grapefruit League debut tonight after nursing a bone bruise in his left wrist earlier in camp. He originally hurt himself crashing into the wall to make a catch in the wildcard game. Gardner has been taking batting practice and all that the last few weeks. Now it’s time to get into a game. He’s scheduled for three at-bats.

Nathan Eovaldi will make his second spring start tonight after being slowed by a minor groin pull. He looked really sharp in his first outing — Eovaldi was already hitting 99 in early-March — and hopefully that carries over tonight. The starters have been quietly excellent this spring. They have a 2.48 ERA in 32.2 innings even with Luis Severino getting rocked in his first start. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup, which looks awfully close to the lineup they figure to send out there on Opening Day:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 2B Starlin Castro
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. C Gary Sanchez
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

Available Pitchers & Position Players: No idea, sorry. None of the reporters in Tampa posted the lineup card anywhere. Seems like Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller are both lined up to pitch today though. We’ll see.

Not a bad night for baseball in Tampa. A tad cloudy and cool, but not rainy or windy or anything. Tonight’s game will begin at 6:30pm ET and you can watch on YES and MLB.tv. MLB Network is not showing the game live, but they will show it on tape delay at 12:30am ET later tonight. Enjoy the game.

Ivan Nova is showing off a slightly new delivery in Spring Training

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

By any measure, the 2015 season was close to a disaster for Ivan Nova. He returned from Tommy John surgery at midseason and had a 5.07 ERA (4.87 FIP) in 94 innings, which temporarily cost him his rotation spot in September. His strikeouts were down and lefties crushed him. It was not a good year at all.

After a season like that, a pitcher and his pitching coach are going to look for answers. It’s reasonable to expect Nova to improve as he gets further away from Tommy John surgery, sure, but that can’t be the only solution. Nova and pitching coach Larry Rothschild had to figure something out, and it appears that something is a slightly revamped delivery. Here is 2015 Nova (on the left) vs. 2016 Nova (right):

Ivan Nova 2015 vs. 2016

Nova is no longer going over his head during his delivery. I can’t tell if that’s the only difference, but it is the most obvious difference. Nova was not bringing his hands over his head in last Wednesday’s start against the Mets, his only other televised outing of the spring, so this has been going on for a while now. It wasn’t a spur of the moment thing last night.

As far as I can tell, neither Nova nor Rothschild has talked about the reworked delivery with reporters this spring, so we’re stuck guessing why the changes were made. How exactly does keeping his hands at his chest during his delivery help Nova? In my totally amateur opinion, this right here looks like the biggest benefit of Nova’s new mechanics:

Ivan Nova 2015 vs. 2016 head

When Ivan brought his hands over his head, he turned his head down toward the ground for a few moments. With his new mechanics, Nova is able to keep his head forward and his eyes on the target the entire time. Before he would pick up his target, begin his delivery, look at the ground, then pick up the target again. Now he never takes his eyes off the catcher.

That … seems like kind of a big deal? We’ve all played catch before. When you focus on your target you tend to be more accurate. At least I do. I don’t know if this is the reason behind the mechanical change, but it does seem like a benefit. Nova no longer has to pick up his target in the middle of his delivery. And considering the majority of his issues are command related (fat pitches over the middle of the plate) and not stuff related, this might be a big help.

We’ll see. We’ll see if it helps and we’ll see if Nova sticks with it. Nova and Rothschild have clearly identified this as some kind of potential solution. Remember, Ivan had been bringing his hands over his head his entire career. Now he’s no longer doing it and that’s a big deal. There’s a lot of muscle memory that has to be changed. Making an adjustment like this is not as easy as it looks.

Nova has thrown well so far this spring (two runs in nine innings), and while he may not have a rotation spot come Opening Day, he’ll inevitably get a chance to start this summer. If these new mechanics help him be effective, Nova stands to make himself a lot of money as a free agent next winter.

The Best No. 3 Reliever in Baseball [2016 Season Preview]

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Over the last three years, Dellin Betances has made the transition from control-challenged minor league starter to two-time All-Star setup man. He’s gone from busted prospect to indispensable big leaguer. This is the ten-year anniversary of Dellin’s draft year, you know. It’s been a long time coming.

Most teams would make a reliever of Betances’ caliber their closer. With the Yankees, Dellin is only their third best option in the bullpen behind Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. I mean, you could argue Betances is the best of the three, the same way you could argue Miller or Chapman is the best of three. They’re all awesome. Chapman is going to close though, and Miller is going to close during Chapman’s suspension, so I guess that makes Dellin the third option.

Either way, Betances will be a crucial part of the bullpen and a crucial part of the Yankees this summer. They’re built from the ninth inning forward. The plan to build a lead however possible — they have to out-score their own starting pitcher, so to speak — then turn it over to the bullpen. Dellin figures to be the first guy out of the bullpen most nights. Let’s look at three important aspects of his 2016 season.

Watch His Workload

Betances is a massive human — he’s listed at 6-foot-8 and 265 lbs. on the team’s official site, though I think he’s heavier than that (not in a bad way) — and he’s endured a heavy workload these last two years. He threw 174 innings from 2014-15, nearly 20 innings more than any other reliever in baseball, and Dellin admitted to being fatigued late last year. “I think that will help my workload as well, having Chapman there,” he said over the winter (video link).

Of course, Betances’ ability to throw a lot of innings is a huge part of his value, and the Yankees want to maintain that ability. Perhaps Chapman will be able to help here. Joe Girardi can use Betances for two innings one day, then be better able to give him that extra day of rest because Miller and Chapman will still be available. Throwing two innings at a time is not necessarily a bad thing. Throwing two innings and not getting enough rest is a bad thing.

Pitching is inherently dangerous. Pitching while fatigued is even more dangerous, and the Yankees want to make sure Betances is effective not only this season, but the next several seasons as well. Dellin’s in this for the long haul. Girardi has to figure out a way to balance winning now with Betances’ long-term health, which is not easy. Hopefully the Chapman pickup means Girardi can give Dellin that extra day of rest on occasion this season. It could go a long way.

What About The Walks?

In terms of performance, the only significant difference between 2014 Betances and 2015 Betances was his walk rate. His strikeout (39.6% vs. 39.5%) and ground ball (46.6% vs. 47.7%) rates were basically identical, yet his walk rate jumped from 7.0% in 2014 to 12.1% in 2015. It was especially bad early in the season and late in the season. Not so bad in the middle:

Dellin Betances walk rateBetances has a history of high walk rates, so this isn’t completely out of the ordinary. He walked 12.2% of batters faced in Triple-A in 2013, which was actually an improvement from his 15.7% walk rate at Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. Lots of walks is nothing new for Dellin, but that’s kind of a problem, right? You don’t want the high walk rate. We want Betances to get back to that 7.0% walk rate he had in 2014.

Tall pitchers have a long history of struggling to repeat their mechanics, leading to poor control. Randy Johnson didn’t post his first sub-10.0% walk rate until age 29, for example. Betances, who turns 28 next week, is on record saying working out of the bullpen helps him maintain his delivery because he pitches more often. He’s not throwing more innings, but he’s pitching more games, and the daily work helps him.

Betances was pretty awesome even with all the walks last season. Hopefully he can bring his walk rate down this year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. With that big frame and that powerful delivery, I think Betances will always be prone to bouts of wildness. It comes with the territory, and as long as he keeps missing bats and getting weak contact, the walks won’t be a major problem.

Fireman

Over the last two years Girardi has shown a willingness to bring Betances into the middle of an inning to clean up another pitcher’s mess. He appeared in 74 games last year, and eleven times he entered in the middle of the inning with at least two runners on base. Twenty times he entered a game with either the tying or go-ahead run on base. When push came to shove, Dellin was on the mound.

With Chapman in tow and Miller not traded, Girardi will have some more freedom to use Betances to put out fires in the middle innings. Girardi does like to assign his relievers specific innings and it would be easy to shoehorn Dellin in as the seventh inning guy, but I’m sure we’ll see him in the sixth inning a bunch of times too. Girardi has shown he will do that. Except now we’re going to see the starter handing the ball right to Betances. Not a middle reliever. Adding Chapman makes Betances available for middle innings and that’s huge. Lots of games are won and lost there.

Out of options market doesn’t appear to have much help for the Yankees

Lyons. (Presswire)
Lyons. (Presswire)

Each year at the end of Spring Training, there is always a flurry of minor trades as teams finalize their Opening Day rosters. Most of those deals feature out of options players, the guys who have to go through waivers to be assigned to the minor leagues. Rather than lose them for nothing on waivers, teams trade those guys for whatever they can get. Cash, a middling prospect, whatever.

The Yankees have three out of options players: Dustin Ackley, Ivan Nova, and Austin Romine. Ackley and Nova will be on the Opening Day roster in some capacity. Romine is battling for the backup catcher’s spot and could very well end up out of the organization before the start of the regular season. Over a hundred players are out of options this year and the majority have Opening Day roster spots locked up. Very few are actually available.

The out of options market appears to have less to offer than usual this year. I mean, the out of options market is not a gold mine or anything, but usually there’s one or two useful players without roster spots. Not this year. As a result, there are very few out of options players who make sense for the Yankees. With an assist from MLBTR, here are five out of options players of potential interest.

IF Cristhian Adames, Rockies
2016 ZiPS: .284/.327/.386 (78 wRC+), 7 HR, 10 SB, +1.1 WAR
Why? Utility infielder Daniel Descalso took a pitch to the hand and broke a bone last week, clearing a bench spot for Adames. He’s a 24-year-old switch-hitting infielder who came up as a shortstop and also has experience at second and third bases, making him a candidate for that last bench spot. Adames has no power, but he’s had decent contact rates throughout the minors, and he has a reputation for being a strong glove man. He’s basically a taller, switch-hitting version of Ronald Torreyes. The Descalso injury creates a need for the Rockies though, so Adames figures to stick around in Colorado for a little longer.

LHP Tyler Lyons, Cardinals
2016 ZIPS: 3.98 ERA (3.89 FIP), 20.7 K%, 5.1 BB%, +1.4 WAR
Why? The Yankees drafted Lyons with their tenth round pick in 2009, but he opted to return to Oklahoma State for his senior season, then the Cardinals grabbed him in the ninth round in 2010. Lyons, 28, has starter stuff — four and two-seamers right around 90 mph, low-80s slurve, low-80s changeup — but no rotation spot. He doesn’t have a bullpen spot either since it is “more likely than not” the Cardinals will carry Rule 5 Draft pick Matt Bowman into the season, according to Adam Rubin.

The Yankees don’t have any room in their rotation either, but they definitely have room in the bullpen, and Lyons could be another long man who serves as rotation insurance. He’s handled heavy workloads and shown the ability to bounce back quickly, so his arm is pretty resilient, and that’s a plus. If the Cardinals can’t squeeze Lyons onto their roster, I suspect more than a few teams will come calling.

RHP Neil Ramirez, Cubs
2016 ZiPS: 2.94 ERA (3.34 FIP), 27.4 K%, 9.9 BB%, +0.5 WAR
Why? Right now the Cubs have eight relievers for seven bullpen spots, and it looks like the last spot will go to either Ramirez or veteran lefty Clayton Richard. Ramirez was limited to 14 innings last year by shoulder problems and Richard signed a $2M contract over the winter, so yeah. Safe to say Richard is the favorite for that spot right now.

Ramirez, 26, is an ultra-rare four-pitch reliever. He lives in the 91-95 mph range with his two and four-seam fastballs, and he also throws a mid-80s slider and an upper-70s curveball. As a result, Ramirez has had a minimal platoon split in his career, and he misses an awful lot of bats. The shoulder trouble is a concern, as is the elbow inflammation he dealt with in 2014, so he’s risky. If healthy though, Ramirez could be a nice little middle innings weapon.

RHP Michael Tonkin, Twins
2016 ZiPS: 3.88 ERA (3.72 FIP), 20.9 K%, 6.5 BB%, +0.4 WAR
Why? Tonkin might throw too hard for the Twins. Okay, fine, that joke is outdated, but it does appear the Twinkies don’t have room in the bullpen for the 26-year-old Tonkin and his mid-90s gas. J.R. Graham, Ryan Pressly, Alex Meyer, and Ryan O’Rourke are his competition for a bullpen spot. Tonkin spent most of last season in Triple-A and he owns a 3.35 ERA (4.07 FIP) in 53.2 big league innings over the last two seasons.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think Tonkin makes sense for the Yankees given their shuttle relievers. He’s not much different than, say, Branden Pinder or Nick Goody. They’re all fastball slider guys, except Pinder and Goody have options and Tonkin doesn’t. Adding another arm to the stable is never a bad idea, but Tonkin can’s start like Lyons and he doesn’t offer four pitches with a history of missing bat like Ramirez. He’s just another guy.

RHP Steven Wright, Red Sox
2016 ZiPS: 4.58 ERA (4.50 FIP), 16.3 K%, 7.1 BB%, +0.8 WAR
Why? As with Lyons, the knuckleballing Wright could be another long man/rotation insurance plan. He wasn’t all that good last year, but the good thing about knuckleballers is their resiliency. They can throw three innings today, another two innings tomorrow, then three innings two days after that. That’s a nice trait to have in a long man. Two problems: 1) the Red Sox probably aren’t eager to trade with the Yankees (and vice versa), and 2) the Red Sox aren’t going to move Wright as long as Eduardo Rodriguez’s knee is acting up. Stocking up on rotation depth is always a good idea. It’s just hard to think Wright would ever actually be available to the Yankees.

* * *

The Yankees have some open spots in the bullpen and that last bench spot is up for grabs, but unfortunately the out of options market doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. Lyons and Ramirez are the two most interesting out of options players in my opinion, and it’s not impossible they stick with the Cardinals and Cubs come Opening Day. There’s nothing here that is clearly better than what the Yankees already have in house.

March 15th Camp Notes: Gardner, Severino, Lindgren

The Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-3 earlier tonight, in their first night game of the spring. Ivan Nova started and held the BoSox to one run on three hits and one walk in four innings. He fanned four. Ivan’s strong spring continues. Bryan Mitchell allowed one hit in three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He looked pretty sharp as well. The Nicks (Rumbelow and Goody) were each charged with a run.

At the plate, Aaron Hicks hit a solo home run the other way against David Price, and Dustin Ackley had a pair of hits as well. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira both went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Cesar Puello, Cito Culver, Gary Sanchez, and Ben Gamel all had base hits off the bench. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the latest from Tampa:

The Yankees will play another night game tomorrow. That one will be at home against the Twins. Nathan Eovaldi will make his second start of the spring and the game will air on YES at 6:30pm ET.

Spring Training Game Thread: The First Night Game

High-fives for everyone. (Presswire)
High fives for everyone. (Presswire)

Opening Day is less than three weeks away now, which means it’s time for teams to begin playing some night games. The Yankees are playing their first night game of the spring tonight, and it’s a road game. They made the two-hour ride down to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox.

Because it’s a night game on the road, the Yankees didn’t exactly bring their A-Team to Fort Myers tonight. Ivan Nova will start even though I’m pretty sure he has no chance to beat CC Sabathia out for a rotation spot. Also, Dustin Ackley is in the lineup, which is good because he was having quad trouble over the weekend. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Aaron Hicks
  2. DH Alex Rodriguez
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. 3B Rob Refsnyder
  5. 2B Dustin Ackley
  6. C Austin Romine
  7. SS Pete Kozma
  8. RF Chris Denorfia
  9. CF Slade Heathcott
    RHP Ivan Nova

Available Pitchers & Position Players: None of the reporters in Tampa posted a photo of the lineup card on Twitter, so I have no idea who is coming out of the bullpen or off the bench tonight. Sorry. I like surprises anyway.

The internet tells me it will be a clear and cool night in Fort Myers. Nice night for a ballgame. Tonight’s game will begin at 6pm ET and you can watch live on MLB Network and MLB.tv. There is no YES broadcast but the game will be available on MLB Network in the New York area. And, as always, there’s no local blackouts on MLB.tv. Enjoy the game.

Scouting The Waiver Market: Ruben Tejada

(Stacy Revere/Getty)
(Stacy Revere/Getty)

In a bit of a surprising move, the Mets placed infielder Ruben Tejada on waivers earlier today, reports Adam Rubin. I say surprising because the Amazin’s are cutting loose a big league caliber infielder even though Asdrubal Cabrera is out with a knee injury and David Wright has yet to play in Spring Training as the team manages his spinal stenosis. I get that the Mets like Wilmer Flores, but he can’t play two positions at once.

Anyway, by waiving Tejada now, the Mets will not owe him his full $3M salary for the 2016 season. They’ll only have to pay him one-sixth of that, or $500,000. Middle infielders are always in demand, so Tejada shouldn’t have much trouble landing a new job in the coming days. The Yankees currently have an open bench spot and they lack a true backup third baseman behind Chase Headley, so does Tejada make sense? Let’s look.

The Offense

By no means in Tejada any great shakes at the plate. The 26-year-old (yes, he’s only 26) is a .255/.330/.323 (86 wRC+) hitter in nearly 2,200 big league plate appearances. Last season he had a .261/.338/.350 (95 wRC+) batting line in 407 plate appearances, and in four of the last five seasons he’s managed a wRC+ in the 89-99 range. Keep in mind the average shortstop had an 85 wRC+ in 2015 and the average second baseman had a 93 wRC+.

Tejada is a right-handed hitter who has unsurprisingly done his best work against lefties over the years. He has zero power against all pitchers — he’s hit ten homers with a .068 ISO in those 2,200 or so plate appearances — but he can make contact (15.0 K%) and draw walks (8.6 BB%). Here are Tejada’s career numbers against southpaws:

Ruben Tejada offense

The 2010 season was Tejada’s partial rookie season, so feel free to ignore that year. Even if you do, he’s still been an above-average producer against lefties in every season of his career except one. You don’t want to play Tejada against righties (career 79 wRC+) but he can hold his own against lefties, if not be an asset.

It is important to note Tejada has spent most of his career batting eighth in the NL, right in front of the pitcher, so his walk rate is inflated. He has a career 11.7% walk rate as the No. 8 hitter and a 6.1% walk rate when batting anywhere else in the lineup. Pitchers pitch around the No. 8 hitter in the NL to get to the pitcher whenever they’re in a jam. I don’t mean intentionally walk them either, sometimes they just give them nothing to hit and see if they’ll chase.

Tejada is not a base-stealer (16-for-27 in his career, or 59.3%) and he’s only average at taking the extra base (first-to-third on a single, etc.), so he doesn’t offer a ton of value on the bases. When it comes to creating runs, Tejada does it by putting the ball in play against lefties and not chasing everything. Move him to the AL and eliminate all those at-bats in front of the pitcher, and you’re likely looking at an 85 wRC+ guy going forward. Not great, but passable.

The Defense

Over the last three or four years it always seemed like the Mets would talk about getting a new shortstop, and yet there Tejada would be at shortstop on Opening Day. He came up through the minors as a shortstop and has played the majority of his big league career there, though he’s also seen some time at second and third bases. His hot corner experience is limited, however (156.1 innings).

The various defensive stats crushed Tejada at shortstop last year, rating him well-below-average, which is not in line with the rest of his career. He’s been scored as average or better at shortstop in previous years. We don’t have a ton of data on his second base and third base work, so there’s no sense in looking at numbers. The scouting reports indicate Tejada is athletic with good range and a strong arm. The defensive tools are there. That’s always been his game. Defense first, offense second.

Injury History

Last fall Tejada rather famously had his lower right fibula broken on a take-out slide by Chase Utley in the NLDS. I’m not sure I would call it a dirty slide, but it was very aggressive and dangerous. Tejada has rehabbed the fracture and had been playing Grapefruit League games before being waived, so he’s good to go. He’s healthy.

The leg fracture is not the only injury of Tejada’s career. Heck, it’s not even the first time he broke his right leg. He also fractured his right fibula in September 2013, when he crashed into a teammate while chasing after a pop-up. Here’s the video:

Two right fibula fractures in the span of three years seems … bad. I don’t know if that makes Tejada more prone to similar fractures going forward, but it can’t be good. His only other notable injuries are right quad strains (missed 48 days in 2007 and 37 days in 2013). The leg fractures are bad news. Everything in baseball starts from the ground up — hitting, fielding, throwing, everything — and if Tejada’s lower half is compromised, he won’t be able to perform as expected.

Contract Status

Tejada and the Mets avoided arbitration over the winter by agreeing to a $3M salary for 2016, but again, the team only owes him one-sixth of that because they placed him on waivers. Interestingly enough, the Mets granted Tejada one extra day of service time as part of their contract agreement, allowing him to become a free agent next offseason. He would have fallen one day short. So, simply put, Tejada is a one-year rental at $3M. If he clears waivers and is released — the waiver process ends Thursday — he can sign with any team for any amount.

Waiver Status

It’s not hard to connect the dots and see Tejada winding up with the Cardinals. St. Louis just lost Jhonny Peralta to a thumb injury and he’s not expected back until midseason. They have Aledmys Diaz (remember him?) as a potential fill-in, but he’s barely played above Double-A, and he fell so out of favor last summer that the Cardinals designated him for assignment. They could use middle infield help and Tejada’s now available.

(Stacy Revere/Getty)
(Stacy Revere/Getty)

Other teams could use infield help, including the Dodgers, who recently lost Corey Seager for two weeks to a knee issue. I do wonder if the Utley-Tejada dynamic will cause Los Angeles to look elsewhere though. That could be an uncomfortable situation. The Giants could use some infield help. So could the Rockies with Jose Reyes set to be out of action for a long time following his domestic violence incident. The Angels, the Mariners … lots of team could use a spare infielder.

The Cardinals are the most obvious suitor here, and the Yankees do have waiver priority over St. Louis. From November through April, the waiver order is the reverse order of last year’s standings, and the Cardinals had the best record in baseball last year. From May through October, the waiver order is the reverse order of the current year’s standings by league. So NL players have to go through the entire NL before being exposed to AL teams. That doesn’t apply right now. The Yankees will have dibs on Tejada before the Cardinals.

Of course, claiming Tejada means assuming that $3M salary, which is relatively small but not insignificant. I mean, $3M is $3M. It’s real money. Creating 40-man roster space is no problem — the Yankees can slide Greg Bird to the 60-day DL — so acquiring Tejada is really a matter of a) him getting to the Yankees on waivers, and b) the Yankees’ willingness to assume his $3M salary. They could always wait to see if he clears waivers and becomes a free agent, but if that happens, I have a hard time thinking St. Louis would be outbid. They can offer a starting shortstop job.

Wrapping Up

The Yankees recently pulled the plug on Starlin Castro at third base, so their fourth and final bench spot has to go to a backup third baseman. Rob Refsnyder has been working out at the hot corner this spring and seems to have the inside trade on that job. Tejada is another candidate for that spot. He might not hit like Refsnyder, but he’s a better defender and can also fill-in at shortstop. That means Castro could focus on second base and second base only.

Acquiring Tejada would push Refsnyder to Triple-A, yes, but I don’t see this as Tejada or Refsnyder. It’s Tejada and Refsnyder. The Yankees would get to keep both. They could keep Tejada at the MLB level — he has enough service time to refuse an assignment to Triple-A anyway — as their sparsely used backup infielder while Refsnyder plays everyday in the minors and continues to work at third base. It’s another layer of depth.

The Yankees don’t have much in the way of Triple-A infielders right now. With Refsnyder slated to be in the big leagues, the Triple-A infield will consist of Pete Kozma, Donovan Solano, Jonathan Diaz, and Ronald Torreyes. I don’t think anyone wants to see them this summer. I’d prefer to see the Yankees add Tejada to their bench, push Refsnyder to Triple-A, and push everyone else further down the depth chart.

Tejada is a +1 WAR player, give or take. No backup infielder is great. He has been able to hold his own as a 400-ish at-bat player for the Mets the last few years, and now we’re talking about making him a 180-ish at-bat bench guy for the Yankees. Tejada could struggle to keep his rhythm with less playing time, or he could really take off by being platooned properly. Considering it would only cost $3M and a waiver claim to acquire him, adding Tejada as infield depth is a move worth making in my book.