BOSTON (CBS) — Wednesday’s exhibition game for the Red Sox will have a little something extra to it, as Tim Tebow will make his Spring debut for the New York Mets.
The quarterback turned ballplayer’s first look at major league pitching will come against one of the AL’s best, with reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello set to get the start for Boston. Tebow will get the start at DH, looking to improve on a less-than-impressive stat line from his time in the Arizona Fall League when he hit just .194 for the Scottsdale Scorpions, whiffing 20 times in 64 at-bats.
It’ll be interesting to see what Tebow can do against Porcello, who won 22 games and struck out a career-high 189 batters for Boston in 2016.
Tebow signed a minor league deal with the Mets last summer, and is getting the start on Wednesday because 14 New York players are currently playing in the World Baseball Classic. He’s expected to be sent to the Mets’ Single-A affiliate when April rolls around.
The Red Sox were one of the many major league clubs that took a look at Tebow during his workout in Los Angeles last August, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said it was just the team doing their “due diligence.”
Tebow, who won National Championships at Florida in 2006 and 2008, played three NFL seasons after being drafted by the Denver Broncos 25th overall in 2010. He led the Broncos to the playoffs in 2011, but was traded to the New York Jets in 2012. After not seeing the field as a quarterback with New York, he spent training camps with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, but was cut before the season by both franchises.