PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Tim Tebow’s time in the major leagues is over — for now.
The Mets reassigned Tebow, their celebrity quarterback-turned-outfielder, to minor-league camp Tuesday, minutes after Tebow finished an 0-for-4, four-strikeout game against the Astros.
Tebow was upbeat and smiling after receiving the news, maintaining that his goal is to make it to the majors and that he feels he has made progress.
“It’s not like it’s a shock,” Tebow said of getting cut. “They were super honest the whole time. We have great relationships and conversations. It’s like, oh my gosh. So it’s all good.”
Tebow did not have a good showing in his first big-league spring training. It didn’t help that he sprained his left ankle early in camp during a run-in with a sprinkler head on a First Data Field back field.
That ankle issue — which Tebow said is “getting there” — cost him several games and limited him to DH duties in Grapefruit League contests. He did not play the outfield at all.
Despite one hit and 11 strikeouts in 18 at-bats — plus a .105 OBP to go with that .056 average — Tebow did not want to use the injury as an excuse.
“It is what it is,” said Tebow, a former Bronco, Jet and Patriot. “You deal with it. Yeah it’s frustrating, but you deal with it, make the best of it.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to with my ankle, which is disappointing. But I got to put in a lot of good work and feel like I’m improving, so that’s good.”
Last season, Tebow’s first in pro baseball, he had a .226/.309/.347 slash line splitting time between Low-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie.
General manager Sandy Alderson said last month that he has a “modest expectation” that Tebow will make it to the majors.
Tebow, who said the Mets have not told him where he will open the regular season, wants to try to make it work.
“That’s definitely the goal,” he said. “It’s a long-term mindset with a hear-and-now focus.
“Continue to work in all the areas we’ve been working and making progress. That’s really the focus, to continue the process and the journey and keep working.”
Tebow can still be called up to play in major-league exhibition games, as was often the case last year. He was listed on the Mets’ Wednesday travel roster for the their game against the Marlins in Jupiter.
The Mets also reassigned righthander Kevin McGowan and optioned righthanders Gerson Bautista, Jamie Callahan, Marcos Molina and Corey Oswalt to minor-league camp.