Xavier Cedeno designated for assignment by the Nationals

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Nationals manager Matt Williams thought highly enough of reliever Xavier Cedeno to use him in five of the team’s first seven games, but the left-hander struggled and now he’s been designated for assignment.

Cedeno hasn’t logged more than a dozen big-league innings in a season since 2012, but he’s got a 2.83 ERA and 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 108 career appearances at Triple-A.

Washington previously traded away left-hander Jerry Blevins to the Mets while keeping Cedeno on the roster, so now the bullpen is down to Matt Thornton as the lone southpaw.

Tim Tebow homers in spring training game

Tim Tebow
Mark Brown/Getty Images
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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.