WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — When Tim Tebow steps into the box for his first at-bat against major league competition on Wednesday, it will be against reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello of the Red Sox.

The Mets are throwing the 29-year-old former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback right into the fire. Tebow is scheduled to be the designated hitter when the Red Sox visit First Data Field in Port St. Lucie.

“It seems like no matter what he gets involved in it’s always going to grab headlines or draw a crowd or attention to it,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said on Tuesday at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. “A gifted athlete. See how he handles a major-league environment, particularly in the batter’s box.”

Tebow being able to make contact against Porcello would be an upset, at least according to European betting website bookmaker.eu, which lists a strikeout in the first at-bat as the overwhelmingly most likely outcome.

Tebow struck out 20 times in 62 at-bats and hit .194 in the Arizona Fall League, when he was facing some of baseball’s top prospects. That was his first exposure to professional pitching.

Red Sox players reacted with a shrug and well-wishes when asked about Tebow.


“It’s cool,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “Good for him. You know? I don’t know him. Obviously, I would never bet against him. Just from what I read and things like that, I know what type of guy he is. Good for him. That’s pretty cool.”

Said third baseman Pablo Sandoval: “I wish I could play another sport. Basketball, soccer, whatever. He’s making that transition playing football to baseball, (that’s a) big deal. He’s a pro athlete. He knows how to handle those things.”

Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez both hit solo home runs off Washington starter Joe Ross in Boston’s 5-3 win at West Palm Beach, Florida.

Pablo Sandoval had a two-run single for Boston.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez allowed two earned runs on four hits and a walk over three innings.



RANGERS: Right-hander Yu Darvish says he is no longer having strange feelings in his elbow when he starts throwing again in a new inning or game.

Darvish returned to the rotation late last May after missing all of the 2015 season following Tommy John surgery during spring training two years ago. He said after his latest spring training start that he feels he’s progressing very well this spring.

Darvish threw 34 of his 59 pitches for strikes in the Rangers’ 3-2 loss to Colorado. He allowed four hits and two runs in the first, with three strikeouts while pitching to one batter into the fourth.

PHILLIES: Roy Halladay returned to serve as a guest instructor in spring training. Halladay, who threw a perfect game in his first season in Philadelphia in 2010 and a no-hitter later that year in his first postseason start, is considering a more permanent role in the big leagues.

AFTER SPENDING two postseasons as a guest studio analyst for Fox, Alex Rodriguez is expanding his role.

A-Rod will be a game analyst and feature reporter for the network and FS1 and will continue to work in the studio, the network said in announcing a multiyear deal.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: