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There’s an outfielder in the New York Mets system that has started to get people’s attention. Have you heard of this Tim Tebow guy? Of course you’ve heard of him. The former NFL quarterback is in his second year in the minors, and he’s rebounded after a rough start. And since the Mets are having injury issues, Tebow could be moving out of Double-A sooner rather than later.
April wasn’t great, but May has been much better
Tebow started off the season poorly with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. In April, he played 18 games and had 70 plate appearances, and had a .226/.314/.339 triple slash, with one home run, four doubles, eight walks, and 31 strikeouts. 31 strikeouts in 70 plate appearances is glaring — that’s a 44 percent strikeout rate. But in May, things started to look up. Thus far, he’s had 60 plate appearances in 16 games, and has hit .273/.333/.509. He has three homers, two doubles and a triple. It hasn’t been a complete turnaround, though. He’s walked just twice in May, and he has 25 strikeouts. That’s a 42 percent strikeout rate, which is still not great.
He’s fully recovered from his spring training ankle injury
In late February, while the Mets were in Port St. Lucie for spring training, Tebow tripped on a sprinkler head in the outfield and injured his left ankle. At the time, it was described as a sprain and he was day-to-day. But on Wednesday, Tebow told Tim Healey of Newsday that his ankle injury was actually a fracture, and that it continued to bother him as the regular season started.
“It was worse than we thought,” said Tebow, adding that the injury bothered him into the regular season. “Where that’s frustrating is hitting is so rhythmic and timing and fluid and you want to be able to carry over all these things you are doing. Taking that time off was frustrating.”
That could explain his putrid spring training (he went 1-for-18 with 11 strikeouts) and his less-than-stellar April. Now that he’s recovered fully, his numbers are improving. Healey also pointed out that the Rumble Ponies staff has helped Tebow tinker with his swing, allowing him to start his motion earlier and have a greater chance of hitting balls in the air.
He could be moving on up soon
The Mets are plagued with injuries once again, a yearly occurrence that surprises exactly zero people. Most recently, outfielder Juan Lagares tore a ligament in his toe and will need surgery. With Lagares on the DL and most likely done for the season, the Mets are in a bind. There are no other outfielders on the Mets’ 40-man roster, which means someone will have to come up. Tebow’s not first in line, but he’s definitely on the short list.
Tebow’s next move might not be to the majors, but he could be headed to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s. If the Mets promote Matt den Dekker to the majors, Tebow could fill the open spot on the 51s.
Some Mets fans are really ready for Tebow time
Mets fans are preparing themselves for the rise of Tebow. Some are excited, and some are simply resigned to their fate as fans of a team that will have Tim Tebow on its major league roster.
Excited or resigned, the Mets’ injures mean that Tebow can’t be ignored. If he’s promoted to the 51s, he could get a call-up to the majors before the end of the season.
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