Ruben Tejada scratched because of leg cramp

Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada rounds the bases after

Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2013) (Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets scratched Ruben Tejada from the starting lineup for Monday night's Grapefruit League game against the Nationals. The shortstop strained his right quadriceps, Terry Collins said, though the team later classified the injury as a cramp.

Collins said Tejada will not play in Tuesday's game in Jupiter against Miami, but Tejada believes he could be ready Wednesday.

"It's nothing bad," said Tejada, who was 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in the exhibition opener. "I feel it, but I don't push too much. It's prevention, to stay healthy this spring."

Francisco plays catch

Reliever Frank Francisco played catch for the first time since the beginning of camp. The righthander has been dealing with lingering elbow inflammation. Francisco will continue on a long-toss program before returning to the mound. He had been limited to fielding drills until Monday's session.

Cowgill leads off

Collin Cowgill's start in the leadoff spot Monday night might be a sign of things to come. Collins said he might consider a platoon in both centerfield and at the leadoff spot. The lefthanded-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis would play against righties and the righthanded-hitting Cowgill against lefties.

Cowgill, acquired during the offseason in a trade with the Athletics, began the Grapefruit League schedule 3-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases in his first two games before going 0-for-2 in a 6-4 loss to the Nats Monday night.

Mejia starts today

Righthander Jenrry Mejia will make his first Grapefruit League start Tuesday.

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