PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Let the spectacle begin. Tim Tebow will play in the first Grapefruit League game of his career Wednesday when the Mets face the Red Sox in a split-squad game at First Data Field.
Tebow played in the Arizona Fall League and arrived early to work out with other selected prospects. Now the former Heisman Trophy winner will get his first chance to show how much progress he’s made in his transition to baseball.
Tebow, 29, also will play at home in a split-squad game Friday. Before his signing last season, the former NFL quarterback had not played baseball since high school, a span of 11 years.
Despite Tebow’s minuscule chances of making the major leagues, the Mets signed the former football star after a well-publicized workout. Tebow hit .194 in 70 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League.
Playing it safe
Yoenis Cespedes was pulled as a precaution from Sunday’s 14-11 loss to the Cardinals. Cespedes, who battled a leg injury for much of last season, had complained of hip and quadriceps tightness, manager Terry Collins said.
But the Mets believe they can breathe easy. “Doctors looked at him and said he’s just fine,” Collins said.
Curtis Granderson played for the first time since Thursday, when he jammed his left thumb while making a sliding catch.
Zack Wheeler threw about 30 pitches in a live batting practice session, which he used to work out kinks in his delivery. The righthander is slated to make his Grapefruit League debut Friday.
“It’s just another step forward,” said Wheeler, who has missed the last two seasons because of Tommy John surgery. “I’m feeling better every time I go out there.”