Exactly what the Jays signed him to do, right?
Omar Vizquel “played” left field for the first time in his 24-year career and them moved to first base in Thursday’s opener against the Indians.
Except, in reality, Vizquel never set foot in left. He was brought in as a fifth infielder with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th inning, replacing left fielder Eric Thames. The manuver worked for the Jays, as Michael Brantley hit a grounder fielded by Yunel Escobar that was turned into an inning-ending double play.
Vizquel then moved to first base to begin the 13th inning. It was his second ever appearance there, following a three-inning stint there with the White Sox last year.
Technically, Vizquel will also be credited with two-thirds of an inning in left. It was his second ever appearance in the outfield. He played one inning in right field for the Indians in 1999.
Mets minor league outfielder Tim Tebow hit a two-run home run during Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. It’s his first spring training home run since beginning his professional baseball career in late 2016.
Tebow, 32, is, of course, a former college football legend. He had a much-anticipated NFL career that ended up brief and disappointing, prompting a change of vocation. Tebow was passable with Double-A Binghamton in 2018, but the Mets promoted him to Triple-A for the 2019 season anyway. That was a mistake. Through 264 plate appearances, Tebow hit .163/.240/.255, ranking as the worst hitter in the minor leagues.
Tebow also walked along with the homer in three plate appearances on Tuesday. While it’s a solid early showing, Tebow participating with the other big leaguers or soon-to-be big leaguers in spring training is something of a sideshow. If he were a regular ballplayer working his way up the ranks, he likely would have been cut after last season. He certainly wouldn’t have been given an invitation to big league camp the next year.
There are aspects of the Tebow situation to respect: that he’s athletic and dedicated enough to attempt a professional career in another sport, for example. He moves tickets and merchandise. But one can’t help but wonder about the roster spot he’s holding that would otherwise go to a more deserving player.