PORT ST. LUCIE (CBSMiami) — Tim Tebow made his Grapefruit League Spring Training debut for the New York Mets Wednesday in Port St. Lucie – and it didn’t go well.
Tebow went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in an 8-7 split-squad win over the Red Sox. The quarterback-turned-baseball player also grounded into a double play and was hit by a pitch.
In his first at-bat, Tebow, who is participating in the Mets’ minor league camp but was called up to play in two Grapefruit League games this week, struck out looking. He then exchanged a few words with home plate umpire Ryan Additon.
The former Heisman Trophy winner faced Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, the reigning American League Cy Young winner, to lead off the third inning. Wearing jersey No. 97, Tebow fanned on four pitches, the last one along the outside of the plate.
Then facing Noe Ramirez in the fourth inning, Tebow rolled a ball to second base for a double play, scoring Lucas Duda.
Tebow, who batted eighth in the order and served as the designated hitter, finally reached base in the sixth inning when a Brian Johnson pitch hit him in the right shoulder. But moments later, Tebow was doubled off when he was late getting back to first base after L.J. Mazzilli lined out to second.
Tebow was called out on strikes again in the eighth inning, this time victimized by Brandon Workman.
The Mets have 14 players joining the World Baseball Classic, freeing up roster spots for fringe players like Tebow to get in some work.
Following a three-year NFL career that saw him play for the Denver Broncos and Jets, Tebow decided last year to try his hand at baseball, a sport he excelled at in high school.
Tebow signed a minor league contract with the team in September. In the Arizona Fall League, he hit .194 with 20 strikeouts in 62 at-bats for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Although, scouts were impressed last month with a batting practice session that saw him launch nine balls over the fence.
He’s expected to also play Friday vs. the Astros, according to the New York Post.