UPDATE: In Tebow’s second at bat, in the fourth inning, he came up with no outs and the bases loaded. He fouled off a couple of pitches and took a ball high and then . . . grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. A run scored, tying the game. He doesn’t get the credit for an RBI, of course, but he did get a standing ovation. For grounding into a DP. So on he goes.
2:25 PM: Tim Tebow is playing in his first ever spring training game today. And a few minutes ago he had his first ever at-bat. It was a quick one: Rick Porcello of the Red Sox struck him out on four pitches. Video below.
The sequence: ball — good eye, Timmy! — called strike, swinging strike and then . . . called strike three. The third strike was probably a bit low. Watch:
Tebow thought the last call was questionable:
Porcello is gonna get that low strike a lot of the time, and you can bet your life that the ump is going to give it to him against a quarterback/side show. No offense.
Tebow is DHing today. He’ll probably play in the outfield on Friday. Make sure to follow closely, because he’s probably only got about 13-14 minutes left in his 15-minute baseball career. Figuratively speaking.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.