Which makes us hope Chase Utley won’t be in the Atlantic League anytime soon.

Ruben Tejada, the Mets’ starting shortstop in the 2015 World Series, returned to professional baseball and played locally for the Long Island Ducks. A native of San Diego, Panama, Tejada hit . 333 for Panama in March’s World Baseball Classic and was a hit on the field.

With the Ducks so far, Tejada has started at shortstop and third base and has missed six hits in two games. He scored two points.

In his sixth season in New York, the infielder infamously broke his leg in Game 2 of the 2015 divisional playoffs when the Dodgers’ Utley intentionally slid toward second base when he was 12 years old. Tejada, 25, to break a double play. Tejada sat out the remainder of the postseason, and Utley was never sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

Utley was never penalized for the play.

Tejada signed with St. Louis as a free agent ahead of the 2016 season, but was fired by the Cardinals a few months later after appearing in just eight games. He was drafted by the University of San Francisco that summer but played very little.

Tejada played in 41 games for Baltimore in 2017, but has since struggled to make a major league roster. In 2019, he played six games with the Mets after a solid season in the minor leagues.

Tejada, highly regarded for his outstanding defensive performances, appeared in 663 MLB games. He recorded 530 hits with a mediocre .250 batting average.

Interestingly, Tejada’s activation with the Ducks comes just days after Tejada’s 2015 Mets teammate, Daniel Murphy, left the Ducks to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Murphy’s contract with the Long Island Ducks was bought out by the Angels.

Murphy, 38, returned this offseason and signed with the Ducks, reporting to the Angels’ Triple-A League Salt Lake Bees.

That was Tejada’s stellar performance at the World Baseball Classic in March — relatively young at 33.

Above: New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada passes Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series to break a double play for Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Tejada left the game with a broken leg. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Top photo illustration: Headshot by Ruben Tejada. (Facebook/Long Island Ducks)

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