Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was told by Omar Vizquel, manager of Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic team, that he would be included on the roster. GM Carlos Guillen, however, decided to leave Cabrera off the roster. Understandably, Cabrera isn’t happy about the situation, as Jonathan Lehman of the New York Post reports.
“I will not participate in the World Baseball Classic because Carlos Guillen is the least serious and most deceitful [person] that may exist. What a shame that Omar Vizquel, with all the respect he deserves, is accepting all this scoundrel-ness,” Cabrera said.
Infielders on Venezuela’s roster include Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, Alcides Escobar, Martin Prado, Yangervis Solarte, and Freddy Galvis.
Cabrera, 31, finished the 2016 season hitting .280/.336/.474 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI over 568 plate appearances in what was one of the better years of his career. One could make a strong argument that Cabrera is better than both Escobar and Galvis, though each has at least one tool that gives him an edge. For Escobar, it’s his speed; for Galvis, it’s his defense. But when totaling all of the things a player does on the field, Cabrera appears to be the best of the trio.
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.