Say what you want about Punxsutawney Phil. Baseball fans know February’s true rite of passage doesn’t come until we see Pablo Sandoval’s shadow.
Tradition holds that the larger it is, the more prominent a talking point Sandoval will be throughout spring training. But based on early returns, it looks like Bostonians might need something else to worry about until opening day.
The third baseman’s physique essentially matched the few glimpses of him that had leaked during the offseason and backed comments made by general manager Dave Dombrowski in November. Dombrowski said then that Sandoval had really worked on his whole, total self after spending nearly all of 2016 on the disabled list with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Mets have discussed promoting Tim Tebow within the minors, but will likely wait until midseason. He’s hitting .327 over his last 16 games.
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Tebow made noise in his first game when he hit a home run, but hit a bit of a rough patch after that. However, with more game experience his stats have improved with a handful of multi-hit games. He’s third on the team in total bases (37) and said last week he’s seeing improvement.
I’m more comfortable and seeing the pitches better. The rhythm is better. I feel like I have been getting better, he said, via The State. You’ve got to have the work ethic, whether you are 0-for-4 or 3-for-4. You’ve just got to try and stay level-handed, and that is something I have tried to bring to the team.
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There’s also the obvious sales factor, which is a big reason Tebow initially was brought along.
The Mets organization surely wouldn’t mind if another of their minor-league teams saw a boost in sales, thanks to Tebow.