TAMPA, Fla. — Amed Rosario turned two corners Saturday.
One was a literal corner, around first base during his 180-foot sprint on a leadoff double against the Yankees. He pulled a pitch into left and beat Giancarlo Stanton’s throw to second.
The other was a figurative corner, turned during the same sequence. He hustled from home to second and felt no pain — or hesitation — after missing almost a week with left knee and groin discomfort. That was a mental step forward from his two at-bats Friday, when he grounded out but didn’t run all-out to first base.
Rosario went 1-for-2 with a strikeout and three innings played at shortstop. He’s a normal, healthy player again, but needs to make up for lost time — and at-bats — with about two weeks of spring training remaining.
“I’m feeling great today,” Rosario said. “I felt good when I turned and didn’t have a problem.”
Added manager Mickey Callaway: “Looked great. Couple of athletic plays. He came out looking fine. He felt really good when the day was over.”
The same can’t be said of the Mets’ other young, highly regarded infield prospect. First baseman Dominic Smith entered camp in a competition against veteran free-agent signee Adrian Gonzalez for the starting spot, but has only one at-bat because of a right quad strain.
The Mets still call Smith day-to-day and have not said when he might get into a game.
“He hasn’t been competing, so it’s probably not a competition right now,” Callaway said.
Tim Tebow went 0-for-3 Saturday and is batting .071 (1-for-14) with a .133 OBP. He also hasn’t played outfield yet after spraining his left ankle late last month.
Callaway said it’s not clear when Tebow might play defense.
“We’re still trying to make sure he’s going to be OK with that foot,” Callaway said. “He feels it on certain movements. If he cut right now, he might feel it a little bit. We’re trying to be cautious about it.”
Jacob deGrom will make his Grapefruit League debut Sunday against the Astros. If he’s effective and efficient with his pitches, the Mets would like him to pitch three innings . . . Pencil in Tuesday as a noteworthy day in the battle for the Mets’ No. 5 starter spot. Robert Gsellman is scheduled to appear in relief of Noah Syndergaard at home against the Astros. At night, Zack Wheeler will get the start against the Nationals in West Palm Beach, with Seth Lugo set to come out of the bullpen.