JUPITER, Fla. — Twice, the Mets have insisted that Tim Tebow’s Grapefruit League stint was finished. Twice, the former Heisman Trophy winner returned to see action in exhibition games.
But after Tebow’s latest appearance, when he finished 1-for-3 in the Mets’ 5-4 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday, manager Terry Collins said the former Jets quarterback still could get a few more chances to play.
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“He’s worked very hard, not only in the minor leagues but with our guys here,” Collins said. “We’re here to try to help him get better. I still think we’ll try to get him over a few more times.”
With one down and runners on first and second in the second inning, Tebow poked Michael Wacha’s 95 mph fastball into leftfield for a hit. In six Grapefruit League appearances, Tebow is hitting .235.
Collins hopes Tebow has a chance to keep raising that figure sometime during the Mets’ 11 remaining spring training games.
“I don’t know how many more it’s going to be but I think he can get a lot [out] of playing here and being around these guys at this level, to see what it’s like to be a big-league player,” Collins said. “So, he can hopefully carry that into wherever he’s going to start the year.”
Nimmo has setback
Brandon Nimmo’s right hamstring injury flared up on Saturday, which could complicate his bid to break camp with a spot on the Mets’ bench as a reserve outfielder.
Collins said Nimmo could be sidelined for “a few more days.”
Nimmo originally hurt his hamstring last week while playing for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. After initially fearing he’d be down two weeks, Nimmo seemed to dodge a bullet.
He had been slated to play on Saturday. But while running the bases on Friday, Nimmo felt his right hamstring tighten up once more.
Righthander Fernando Salas is expected back in camp on Sunday with his work visa issue finally resolved.
Salas is the Mets’ projected setup man to begin the season. But the righthander pitched only twice while with Team Mexico at the World Baseball Classic. He had been barred from pitching in Grapefruit League games because he lacked the proper work visa.
Salas will be cleared to throw in games — perhaps as early as Sunday against the Marlins —
- once he returns.
“Even though he didn’t pitch much, he went there in shape so, we know we’ve got that behind us,” Collins said. “We know we’ve just got to get him in some games.”