Joe Panik was out of the lineup on Tuesday because of delayed concussion symptoms related to getting hit in the head with a pitch during last week’s series against the Rays. On Wednesday, the Giants placed Panik on the 7-day concussion DL, purchasing the contract of Ruben Tejada to take his place.
Tejada spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Mets organization, including parts of six years in the majors, where he hit .254/.328/.322. He became a household name last October, when he broke his leg on Chase Utley’s butt-shaped face, and he became a free agent this offseason after the Mets declined to offer him arbitration. He became a free agent again after hitting .176/.225/.235 for the Cardinals this year in 40 plate appearances.
Tejada is starting for the Giants on Wednesday at third base, where he’s played 29 games in his career. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Giants placed Chris Heston on the 60-day DL for a pulled oblique muscle he suffered for the Sacramento River Cats on Monday.
Is Ruben Tejada the Marco Scutaro of the 2016 season? Only time will tell. But, more accurately, no. Until Kelby Tomlinson, Matt Duffy, Joe Panik, and Ehire Adrianza are healthy, though, he's one of the only middle infield options the Giants have. Panik will be eligible to come off the DL before Monday's game against the Rockies.
If it makes you feel better, Tejada has been much better than a replacement player for three seasons in his career. Considering the players the Giants -- or any team, really -- usually have on their middle infield depth charts, having a player like Tejada in a glass case is making the best of a bad situation.