Months ago, WFAN host Mike Francesa derided the notion Tim Tebow would make the Major Leagues in 2019 with the Mets.
But on Tuesday, the "Sports Pope" flipped the script and posited that, with recent injuries to veteran infielders Jed Lowrie (knee) and Todd Frazier (oblique), the former Heisman Trophy winner has a shot of making the Mets' Opening Day roster.
"Especially with the injuries to Frazier and Lowrie, what it does is two things," he said at the open of his show. "Number one: It opens up a bigger opportunity for [first baseman Pete] Alonso. And I hate to say this, but it opens up a bigger opportunity for Tebow to start the season with the big team. Tebow's wearing a number that means business. He's not wearing number 78 down there if you've noticed. He's wearing his number . He's wearing a baseball number."
With Double-A Binghamton in 2018, Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 with six homers and 36 RBI. The lefty whiffed 103 times in 271 at-bats and a broken hand ended his season in July.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Tebow will open the season with Triple-A Syracuse and the new boss has maintained the stance the 31-year-old can make an impact in Flushing.
But, the way Francesa sees it, the Mets would love to have Tebow break camp with the club and have him skip Syracuse all together, at least to start the year.
"They want to bring him north," he said. "They want a reason to bring him north. I saw his first two at-bats the other day. He hit a couple of line drives that were caught. He hit them hard. They're dying to bring that guy north. Dying.
"I tell you, the fans, they love him. There's no question about it. Everything stopped when he went in the cage the other day. ... Everyone knows Tebow. The Mets are looking for that buzz and they like that idea, even if he's just someone on the bench. He's not going to be an everyday player, you know that, even if he got up here. But he could wind up on the Opening Day roster with these injuries. There's no question."