4/25/2014 8:19 P.M. ET
Light-hitting Tejada delivering on defense
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Ruben Tejada entered Friday's play batting .203 with a .529 OPS.
He was, in other words, on fire.
Tejada's hot streak has not come on offense but at shortstop, where he has spent much of the Mets' homestand racking up highlight-reel plays. On Monday, Tejada made a pair of diving stops, including one to start a nifty double play. Two days later, he delivered a near-perfect relay throw to nail Matt Carpenter at home plate, preventing the tying run from scoring in another Mets victory.
Tejada, who committed eight errors in just 55 games last season, does not have any since April 8 -- a span of 106 1/3 innings. Though advanced metrics paint the picture of a shortstop with relatively limited range, those numbers are generally unreliable in small samples.
"I feel really good right now on defense," Tejada said. "I've been working really hard too to get my timing for my hitting. So I want to keep doing the same for defense and keep working for my offense."
The Mets do need Tejada to begin hitting, regardless of his defensive performance. The shortstop entered Friday's play with a .309 on-base percentage and .220 slugging mark to go along with the .203 batting average, ranking near the bottom of the league in all three categories.
Collins trying to keep Mets' relievers fresh
NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins has found a pair of late-inning relievers he trusts in Carlos Torres and Scott Rice.
The trick is keeping their arms attached.
Torres and Rice entered Friday's play with 12 appearances apiece, putting them on pace for 88 by season's end. Collins is eager to use that duo as often as possible, considering Torres is unscored upon in his last five appearances, Rice in his last six.
But the workload has clearly affected Torres, a starting pitcher by nature who did not begin appearing regularly out of the bullpen until last season. As a result, Collins budgeted an off-day Friday for his tired right-hander.
"He's got one of those durable arms where he likes to go out there every day," Collins said. "But we're seeing the last few games, even though his stuff is pretty good, it's not as crisp as it was [at first]. We could kind of tell he needs a day."
For Rice, who appeared in 73 games over five months last season, the heavy workload is more routine. As a lefty specialist, Rice often only faces one or two batters per night, and he has learned to be more economical while warming in the bullpen.
Still, Collins noted, he must be wary of when Rice needs a rest as well.
"You've really got to stay on top of how they feel," the manager said.
Mookie critical in new autobiography
NEW YORK -- Referring to himself as a "hood ornament" for the organization, 1986 World Series hero Mookie Wilson criticized the Mets' treatment of him in a new autobiography.
Wilson said he is upset in particular that the Mets never explained why they dismissed him as first-base coach after the 2011 season.
"I feel that I deserve to hear just some words to justify the actions of an organization that I have honored and promoted every day of my nearly 30-year existence in it," Wilson wrote in "Mookie: Life, Baseball and the '86 Mets," according to an excerpt printed in the New York Post.
Upon release of the excerpts from Wilson's book, the Mets released the following statement:
"We are pleased that Mookie accepted our offer to rejoin the organization in 2012, and continue with us in Spring Training and during the season as a roving instructor and club ambassador."
Wilson still serves as a salaried ambassador for the organization, but is troubled by what he perceives as an underrepresentation of 1986 Mets players in prominent roles. One member of that team, Tim Teufel, is New York's current third-base coach, while another, Wally Backman, is the manager at Triple-A Las Vegas. In addition, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Bob Ojeda all work for the partially team-owned television network SNY.
• Mets Minor League affiliates entered Friday's play a combined 50-26, giving them the highest cumulative winning percentage (.658) of any organization. The Mets and Red Sox are the only two organizations with winning records at every Minor League level, though New York -- unlike Boston -- also boasts a winning record at the Major League level.
• Mets field reporter Kevin Burkhardt confirmed that he is leaving SNY when his contract expires at the end of this season. Burkhardt, who has been with SNY since 2006, will be joining FOX Sports full-time to cover MLB, NFL and college basketball. Steve Gelbs has been filling in for Burkhardt when his part-time FOX duties have conflicted with SNY work.