Count Joe Girardi among those fascinated by Tim Tebow and his signing by the Mets on Thursday.
“I’m going to watch and pay attention to see how he does,” Girardi said before his club took on the Rays on Thursday night. “I think it’s a good story.”
Girardi said Tebow, who hasn’t played baseball since his junior year of high school, will face plenty of obstacles.
“I would say the difficulty is going to come in that he probably hasn’t seen a whole lot of live pitching,” Girardi said. “He’s seen a lot of live linebackers and defensive ends chasing him, but not a lot of live pitching. I’d be shocked if he’s not rusty, but the Mets thought enough of him to sign. I’m curious.”
Needless to say, Girardi is not in the group of those criticizing Tebow for attempting, at the age of 29, to play in the big leagues.
“I think it’s good,” Girardi said. “America, it’s the land of opportunity, right? And if you’ve proven that you deserve an opportunity, then let him have the opportunity.”
Girardi entered Thursday with not a lot of bullpen options, preferring to stay away from Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard and Luis Severino, all of whom have been used quite a bit in recent days.
Girardi said Severino will get “at least two days off” after throwing 52 pitches in three scoreless innings of relief Wednesday night.
McCann can . . . still catch
Even though Gary Sanchez supplanted Brian McCann as the starting catcher in early August, Girardi again had McCann catching CC Sabathia on Thursday night, something likely to continue the rest of the season. Additionally, it gives Girardi a chance to occasionally rest Sanchez.
“They just seem to work extremely well together,” Girardi said of Sabathia and McCann, who homered in his first two at-bats. “And it gives me an opportunity to DH Gary . . . It just becomes kind of a built-in day [off] for Gary.”