Lakeland Fla. – J.D. Davis became the first casualty during the Mets spring training camp Tuesday afternoon. He left the game against the Tigers in the fifth inning after diving for a ball at third base and jammed his left shoulder.
An MRI is scheduled for Wednesday and the Mets will await the results. Davis, slated to be the starting left fielder on Opening Day, could see some playing time at third base for manager Luis Rojas.
When questioned, Davis said to NewYorkExtra.com “I think it’s minor. Just achy and tight. Right now. We will see tomorrow.”
The Mets are hoping for the best. Last season, Davis, the surprising acquisition from the Houston Astros, hit .307 with 22 home runs in 453 at bats. He had some lapses in left field and this offseason worked on correcting the flaws.
In the lineup, the Mets are that much better. Davis can be a cog at cleanup or batting third. In the event of a setback pending the MRI, there are some positives.
Yoenis Cespedes is working his way back to the lineup and that adds some depth for a Mets team that is in discussion as a possible winner of the NL East.
To win the division, or take a NL wild card, they will need the consistency of Davis in the lineup and on the field.
“It was a little bit of pain,” Davis said. “But it’s fine now.
The MRI is precautionary and to assure there is no structural damage. The Mets have not had a share of any injuries since the start of camp. Most of the emphasis has been Yoenis Cespedes.
Since his off-season run-in with a boar, their high profiled player with a restructured contract, has been on the field. Stretching, running, throwing in the batter’s box, and all looks good for Cespedes.
That leads to optimism that the name of Yoenis Cespedes will be in the lineup or off the bench in the first few weeks of the season. Davis also said he is not concerned this will be a setback. Again, the MRI will confirm more.
“Three out of ten,” he said about the concern level.
And the Mets are hoping for a ten. In the unlikely event that Davis is out for some time, the Mets, with depth, could go with Dominic Smith in left. He is slated to get playing time off the bench and possibly backup Pete Alonzo at first.
THE LAST TIME FOR TEBOW? Tim Tebow hit his first home run in Mets camp Tuesday. It was his first ball hit out of the yard in his fourth spring training invite with the Mets.
And this could be his last hurrah. Time is of the essence. Tebow, 32- years of age, is not getting any younger when it comes to baseball standards to achieve his goal of being on the Major League level.
He signed as a Minor League free agent in September of 2016, and hit .163 last season for Triple A-Syracuse before sustaining a laceration to a finger that curtailed his time. The year before, at Double-A Binghamton it was a broken wrist that ended his season.
“I had a chance to see a few and just tried to be tight and on time,” Tebow said about the home run in the Mets 8-6 spring loss to the Tigers.
The Mets have tried the Tim Tebow experiment and at times it has been a marketing ploy. After seeing some success at Double-A Binghamton, and a 2018 Eastern League All-Star spot, there was speculation in 2018, when rosters expanded, that Tebow would make his Major League debut at Citi Field.
But that never transpired which leads to 2020 as being his last opportunity. With the Mets set in the outfield, and the game getting younger, that leaves Tebow with limited time to make the jump to the big leagues.
“I feel like I’m seeing the ball pretty good,” Tebow said.
He has been reaching base in three Grapefruit League games, walks, and of course the home ball that got the crowd popping in Lakeland. You see, Tim Tebow has always been that role model and fans do gravitate to him.
In the end, a roster spot, even with an extra man at 26, may not be enough. Tebow, though, is content and will continue to fulfill his goal as that two-star professional athlete.
“The good athlete that he is, and as coachable as he is, he’s going to keep improving in every area,” said Mets manager Luis Rojas.
And for Tom Tebow, that’s as good as it gets.
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