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Terry Collins lukewarm on Ruben Tejada return

Ruben Tejada of the New York Mets pops

Ruben Tejada of the New York Mets pops up a 10th-inning sacrifice bunt attempt against the Atlanta Braves during the conclusion of their suspended game at Citi Field. (May 25, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Shortstop Ruben Tejada may be physically ready to return from Triple-A Las Vegas. However, he received only a lukewarm endorsement from Mets manager Terry Collins, who wants to see more improvement from the 23-year-old.

A strained right quad landed Tejada on the disabled list. He is hitting .315 in Las Vegas since his return. Though Collins said Tejada has improved upon hitting fewer balls in the air, his progress still hasn't been "to the satisfaction of the people watching him."

Tejada began the year as the team's starting shortstop, though injury and underperformance cost him his job. He might face an uphill battle in a return because veteran Omar Quintanilla has played well.

Also, the Mets can't demote Quintanilla without risking him to another team on waivers, another factor working against Tejada's quick return.

Cutting ties

The Mets kept Johan Santana on the disabled list when he had season-ending shoulder surgery. But they did not extend the same courtesy to first-year righthander Shaun Marcum, who was placed on waivers Tuesday with the intent of giving him his unconditional release. Marcum, 31, is out for the season after surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome.

Extra bases

Righthander Zack Wheeler will pitch Thursday. He had been battling a blister issue that Collins said has since cleared up . . . Mets minor-leaguer Alex Machillanda Romero was arrested Sunday on suspicion of felony shoplifting, battery and resisting an officer without violence, Port St. Lucie, Fla., police said. Romero, 21, plays for the team's Gulf Coast League affiliate.

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