Tebow (1 for 18) sent to minor league camp by Mets

Tim Tebow of the Mets laughs with teammates in the dugout before a spring training game against the Yankees on March 7 at Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Tim Tebow of the Mets laughs with teammates in the dugout before a spring training game against the Yankees on March 7 at Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Port St. Lucie, Fla. — Tim Tebow was reassigned by the New York Mets to their minor league camp on Tuesday after he went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in an exhibition against the Houston Astros.

The former NFL quarterback and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner hit .056 (1 for 18) with 11 strikeouts in seven big league exhibition games. The 30-year-old, who is not on the Mets' 40-man roster, has been hampered by a left ankle sprain.

"I'll just 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 said to reporters following the game.

Tebow's only hit was a hard single to center off Washington's Erick Fedde on March 2. He has been used solely as a designated hitter or pinch hitter because of the injury.

"The ankle was kind of disappointing. I got to put in a lot of good work and feel like I'm improving. It's getting there," Tebow said.

Earlier in spring training, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he thinks Tebow will be in the major leagues one day. Tebow said that was not his focus right now.

"It's definitely the goal, and we'll be putting in work every day to one day get that opportunity, but you can't just be focused on the end result. It's got be on every day in the process," Tebow said. "It's having a long-term mindset with a here-and-now focus."

Tebow, an outfielder, can appear in games for New York but would have to be brought over from the minor league side.

He said being in a major league clubhouse for the first time was rewarding.

"It was a lot different being around the guys all the time, being able to learn a lot more, go through drills when I could and get some meaningful at-bats, too," Tebow said.

New York also reassigned right-hander Kevin McGowan to the minor league camp on Tuesday and optioned right-handers Gerson Bautista, Marcos Molina, Jamie Callahan and Corey Oswalt to minor league affiliates.

 

• Mets captain David Wright won't participate in baseball activities for two months because of back and shoulder issues, another setback in his attempt to return from injuries that have sidelined him for two years, and New York star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is sidelined after hurting a wrist.

New York made the announcements Tuesday, a day after Wright was examined by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles.

The 35-year-old Wright has been limited to 75 regular-season games during the past three years. He was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24, 2015, when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis.

He returned as the Mets won their first NL pennant since 2000 but has not played for them since May 27, 2016. Watkins operated that June 16 to repair a herniated disk in Wright's neck. After Wright's minor league rehabilitation assignment was ended after three games last year due to shoulder pain, he had surgery Sept. 5 to repair his right rotator cuff, and Watkins performed a laminotomy in early October in which a bony layer over the spinal canal was removed to treat nerve compression.

A seven-time All-Star, Wright is guaranteed $47 million by the Mets over the next three seasons. New York signed Todd Frazier in case Wright would not be able to play.

The 32-year-old Cespedes hurt his right wrist while swinging in a game on March 6. He was to play Tuesday but was scratched.

"I felt something in my wrist, but I didn't care much about that," Cespedes said through a translator. "It started bothering me on Tuesday, but with the day off yesterday ... I thought it would be good for today."

New York had X-rays taken and awaiting results.

Cespedes is starting the second season of a $110 million, four-year contract.

• Mets starter Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs — one earned — four hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings with five strikeouts in a 6-1 loss to the Houston Astros. Brandon Nimmo homered.

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