OAKLAND — Ruben Tejada didn’t seem all that surprised that he was back in the big leagues, although after the year Tejada has had maybe nothing in this game will shock him. Tejada’s Mets' run ended when Chase Utley ran him over in the postseason and fractured his leg. The Cardinals designated him for assignment in May.
But here he is, at the end of June, back in the big leagues and starting at third base for one of baseball’s best teams.
“That’s the goal, that’s why I signed here,” Tejada said. “You stay ready and you never know what happens. I’ve heard about this group a lot. It’s a winning team. I’m here now, and I’m really happy to be here.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said Tejada will mostly be a third baseman while he’s here. He’ll play against lefties with Joe Panik and Matt Duffy on the DL. Panik saw a specialist at Stanford on Wednesday, confirming that he has a concussion. He was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list and the hope is that he’s back in a week, but the Giants know that these things can take time.
Tejada said he’s already comfortable here, having played against most of the Giants in the big leagues. He even faced Madison Bumgarner and Brandon Crawford in the minors. As for the leg that Utley fractured with a dirty slide that led to a rule change, Tejada said he’s fully healthy. He was back feeling normal around December.
“Right now, for me, it’s history,” Tejada said. “In that time, it was a little frustrating in the moment, but right now I feel good and healthy.”
Tejada said he has not spoken to Utley since the incident, and he didn’t particularly seem like he ever wants to. If he can make an impact here and find a permanent home, he might be in for his own measure of revenge. His new team has a healthy lead over Utley’s Dodgers, and the second baseman already gets showered with boos every time the Dodgers play at AT&T Park.
--- Sergio Romo will not be back anytime soon to boost the bullpen. Bochy said he’s scheduled to go back-to-back Thursday and Friday for the River Cats. Romo would not be available on Saturday then, and it’s hard to imagine the Giants will fly him to Arizona for a day game on Sunday. It looks like Monday at the earliest.
As for that bullpen, Bochy said he’s hoping to chalk last night up as a blip.
“You’ve got to throw them back out there,” he said. “They’re a big reason we are where we are.”
--- Kelby Tomlinson will start a rehab assignment with the San Jose Giants this weekend. He could be back in the big leagues before the All-Star break. Speaking of the All-Star break, put that in the back of your mind when thinking about all these injury timetables. At some point, it’ll make sense to hold guys back until the second half starts rather than rush them for two or three games before the break.
--- So, Madison Bumgarner took a thunderous BP the day before his start in an American League park. Is Bumgarner actually going to hit for himself tomorrow? “I’m not the one who makes the lineup,” he said, smiling.
To be fair, today is Bumgarner’s usual BP day. Also, the man loves to hit, period. Also, he likes to hit in new parks and take aim at parts that stand out (today he seemed dead set on hitting the tinted-window suites in center field, and he almost did).
In talking to people around the cage, it sounds like it’s still a long shot that Bumgarner hits tomorrow. But it’s also still in consideration. Stay tuned.
--- Chris Heston was recalled and then put on the 60-day DL to clear a roster spot for Tejada. Creative accounting there. Is it possible Heston, who hurt his oblique in his last start, is being put on ice for a few extra weeks? Sure, but don't feel too bad for him. Because he's back on the big league roster, this move likely made him about $150,000, assuming he would have spent those 60 days in the minors. That's not a lock, but either way, he's done well. He also accrues additional big league service time.