NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It looks like it’ll be Ruben Tejada at shortstop on Opening Day, barring a last-minute move by the New York Mets.
The team optioned infielder Wilmer Flores to minor league camp on Monday. The departure of Flores, who got a look at shortstop this spring, means Tejada will likely get the nod when the Mets open the season at Citi Field on March 31.
Infielder Omar Quintanilla remains on the roster.
“I feel good, I did a great job and I’ll just wait for the opportunity to come again,” Flores said after the demotion, according to the New York Post.
Flores batted .238 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 14 games at major league camp.
Tejada got off to a poor start this spring but has turned it up recently, improving his average to .229 with three doubles. He’s been knocked for his play in the field, committing four errors in 12 games.
The Mets have been linked to free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who remains unsigned, and Seattle infielder Nick Franklin. Just last week it was reported that the team was sniffing around for a potential trade.
Also sent down Monday morning were outfielders Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker along with infielder Zach Lutz.
The Mets now have 33 players left in camp, but that includes rehabbing pitchers Matt Harvey and Jeremy Hefner as well as Jon Niese, who’s headed for the disabled list to begin the season. Niese will throw a bullpen session on Monday. There are three players who will likely be moved out before Opening Day: catcher Taylor Teagarden, pitcher Gonzalez Germen and infielder Eric Campbell.
Quintanilla and Anthony Seratelli are battling for a backup infield spot, and Jenrry Mejia and Daisuke Matsuzaka are fighting for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Mejia threw five innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts Sunday. Matsuzaka will pitch Monday in Port St. Lucie against the Cardinals.
Reliever Kyle Farnsworth is expected to be re-signed Tuesday after being released over the weekend, according to multiple reports.
The team also announced an addition to its coaching staff on Monday:
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