Mets center fielder Juan Lagares is headed back to the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle one month after coming off the disabled list following a hamstring injury.
It’s a tough break for the Mets, because Lagares is a fantastic defensive center fielder who’s actually hit well this season with a .288 batting average and .754 OPS in 42 games. On the Mets only Lucas Duda has a higher OPS this season and Lagares’ defense would be good enough to make him valuable even if he weren’t hitting much at all.
New York called up Matt den Dekker from Triple-A to take Lagares’ spot on the roster and Chris Young figures to pick up significant action in center field.
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.