Not a lot has gone right for the Mets recently. They’ve lost their ace starter, their star slugger and their closer to injuries. Their most famous starter stayed out partying on Cinco de Mayo which led to a nearly weeklong tabloid story. Just not ideal.
One part of their 2017 plan is going well, however. It’s a small part, but one that you know someone in the marketing department hoped would go well. That’s the Tim Tebow experiment.
Tebow has gotten fairly hot lately down in the Sally League of late. Overall, he’s hitting .250/.330/.370 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 28 games for Columbia, but in his past 16 games he has an .849 OPS. It has the Mets thinking:
According to a club source, there has been discussion about moving the former Heisman Trophy winner to a higher level within the minors, but such a jump likely won’t occur until after the All-Star Game in midseason.
The next level up from where Tebow is now would be St. Lucie, which is high-A, but I bet if they promote him they’d send him to Double-A Binghamton. Partially to get him closer to New York geographically, but partially as a sink-or-swim proposition.
Players say that the toughest jump in the minors is the one to Double-A. That’s where real talents go after the great filter that is A-ball. If Tebow could somehow manage to hold his own there it would, perhaps, provide the Mets a path to an eventual big league cup of coffee and all of the publicity, marketing and jersey sales that would provide. If not, well, at least they’d know for sure that he couldn’t hack it.
Anyone can get hot for a couple of weeks and Tebow could quickly slump down in Columbia. But it’s intriguing all around.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”