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The Baltimore Orioles signed Miguel Tejada this week to a minor league deal. Building depth? Perhaps, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com says it's a trial period to see if Tejada can replace the scuffling Mark Reynolds (.193-2-9 in 83 at-bats) at third base.
The K maker had a spurt of good performance this past weekend but has been a gaping lineup hole for the rest. His struggles have actually been a bit puzzling. Reynolds has been less aggressive at the dish and made more contact on pitches in the strike zone. His chase percentage isn't all that greater than it has been in recent seasons.
Ironically, his line-drive rate is tied with his rookie season's for the highest of his career, so you'd think his batting average would be a bit better. The problem likely rests in his fly-ball effectiveness. He hasn't seen an increase in infield pop-ups, but his batting average on lofts has been .250 this season after .352 in 2011, .321 in 2010 and .392 in 2009. He's also showing little potency in going the other way.
It's tempting to want to get on that track record of 30-homer pop and the possible upside in his batting average. But since his playing time is in jeopardy, with Wilson Betemit also producing, you're probably better off not even bothering unless you have a spot to play with and equally unattractive depth to trade and can stash him without consequence.
Tejada would need at least a few weeks to get in the swing and still might not even get a call, but he should be picked up in all AL-only formats; deep mixed hawks don't have to act yet. He'll turn 38 soon but can still offer enough extra-base power as long as he piles up enough at-bats to make him a useful corner or middle infield patchwork option, given his third base, shortstop and, in some leagues, second base eligibility.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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