Tim Tebow will get a chance to face major-league pitching in 2021. The New York Mets announced their spring training roster Saturday, and Tebow made the cut.
The move doesn't mean much for Tebow's chances of reaching the majors this season. He's taken part in multiple spring trainings with the Mets, and usually gets sent down to the minors pretty early.
In his previous spring training stints, Tebow looked overmatched against elite competition. Over his career, Tebow has hit .151/.262/.192 in 73 spring at-bats. He's had multiple run-ins with Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer during those appearances. Neither went well for Tebow.
In November, Mets president Sandy Alderson confirmed Tebow would return in 2021. Alderson said he didn't want Tebow's baseball career to end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and used that to convince Tebow to come back.
Make or break season for Tim Tebow
After missing the entire 2020 season due to the pandemic, Tebow will return to action after getting a brief taste of Triple-A in 2019. Tebow hit just .163/.240/.255 in 264 plate appearances at the level.
At 33, Tebow doesn't have much longer to prove he deserves a shot at the majors. That hasn't stopped the Mets from promoting Tebow in the past. He's struggled at every minor-league level, but the team has continued to move Tebow up through the system.
That could change now that the Mets are considered contenders. The Mets can't afford to give Tebow at-bats in the majors if the team is in the middle of a pennant race. He would actively harm the Mets' chances.
Tebow could always earn his call-up to the majors, but he would have to show a drastic improvement at the plate. If it doesn't happen this year, Tebow might be out of time.
At a certain point, the Mets will realize it's not wise to keep giving at-bats to a 33-year-old who hasn't shown any hint he's close to putting it all together.
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