The Mets are debating which catcher to keep around when Travis d’Arnaud returns to the major leagues on Tuesday after having spent the last two weeks with Triple-A Las Vegas. Neither Anthony Recker nor Taylor Teagarden have done much to help their own causes: Recker has a .557 OPS in 110 plate appearances on the season, and Teagarden has an even worse .450 mark in 30 plate appearances.
As Adam Rubin of ESPN New York notes, Recker still has an option remaining. On the other hand, Teagarden would have to pass through waivers before the Mets could assign him to Triple-A. Even then, Teagarden would have the option of rejecting the assignment and instead become a free agent.
d’Arnaud caught fire at the plate while in the minors. In 57 plate appearances with the Las Vegas 51’s, the 25-year-old slashed .453/.491/.943 with six home runs and 16 RBI.
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.