Tim Tebow will make his Grapefruit League debut with the New York Mets Wednesday in a Spring Training game against the Boston Red Sox. Tebow is also expected to play Friday against the Astros, as the Mets have been left short-handed due to the ongoing World Baseball Classic.
On Wednesday's episode of Undisputed, Skip Bayless reacted to the Mets' decision to rush Tebow into action.
Skip: Thsi is starting to smell a little bit more like a publicity stunt
“I must admit, I don’t love this. I don’t love it. I don’t think this is a good idea, at least yet. Let me just say this, this is starting to smell a little bit more like a publicity stunt that you think it has been, because now you’re throwing him into the fire against the reigning Cy Young award winner. A Rick Porcello who went 22-4 with a 3.15 [ERA], which was his career best, last year.
Now it’s a split squad game, so he won’t be up against all the Red Sox starting position players, and I don’t know how long Porcello will go. I don’t know, Tebow, how many at bats he’ll get, but he’s going to hit in the 8-hole as the DH.
But here’s the point. Maybe the Mets are seeing something early on that I don’t know. And I told you, I did defend this because after a horrendous start in the Fall League when he’s going up against pitchers who are on the doorstep of the big leagues, in his last 11 games in the Fall League - 11 out of the 19 he played - he went 9-for-32, which is a batting average of .281. Which is pretty good. And he walked eight times, which is pretty great, because that boosted his on-base percentage over those last 11 games to .425."
Steve MitchellSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: The Mets need to be patient with Tebow
"So it’s possible the Mets watched that closely and said ‘you know what, he’s farther along at this point than we thought, so let’s go ahead and throw him into the fire.’ Even though you could make a case they’re just trying to sell some Tebow jerseys in Florida.
I wanted Tebow to ease back in a little more quietly. A little more patiently. I wanted to see, not Spring Training, I told you I want to see a whole season of at least high-A ball, if not AA ball. I think Tebow could be pretty good in AA ball, he might even turn out very good - but I want to see it over the long, hot summer, because Tebow is still trying to re-learn the game of baseball. It’s the hardest game to learn in the first place. It takes the most repetitions, as you know, over long, hot minor league summers riding buses all around the country."