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Rosario shows range in return to infield

Shortstop in 'no pain' after being hit by pitch on March 3; Callaway focusing on delivery mechanics
Special to MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Making his first start in the field since being hit with a pitch on March 3, Amed Rosario looked comfortable at shortstop and in the batter's box on Saturday in the Mets' 10-3 loss to the Yankees.

Rosario was involved in four defensive plays in three innings of action with no apparent issues, and he hopes to continue getting valuable spring reps.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Making his first start in the field since being hit with a pitch on March 3, Amed Rosario looked comfortable at shortstop and in the batter's box on Saturday in the Mets' 10-3 loss to the Yankees.

Rosario was involved in four defensive plays in three innings of action with no apparent issues, and he hopes to continue getting valuable spring reps.

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"I think it's 100 percent important for me," Rosario said, adding that he expects to play five innings in Sunday's game against the Astros.

In the first, Rosario ranged to his right to track down a Brandon Drury grounder, but a throw to second was just a bit late to get the lead runner. Two batters later, he teamed up with second baseman Jose Reyes to turn an inning-ending double play.

Rosario showed encouraging signs at the plate, too. Batting in the leadoff spot, he knocked a soft line drive to left field that he was able to stretch into a double after an aggressive turn at first.

"I ran 100 percent with no pain," Rosario said. "I felt good at the turn with no problems."

Video: HOU@NYM: Rosario fields ricochet off Taylor's glove

Manager Mickey Callaway was more than pleased with what he saw out of Rosario.

"He looked great -- had a couple athletic plays," Callaway said. "He came out fine and felt really good when the day was over."

Rosario had played in Friday's 4-4 tie against the Tigers, but he went 0-for-2 as the designated hitter.

In other injury news, Callaway said that Dominic Smith is still day to day, leaving Adrian Gonzalez the leader in the first baseman battle. Smith had hoped to win the job, but showing up late for camp got him benched early, and a strained quad has left him sidelined since the end of February.

"He hasn't been competing, so it's probably not a competition right now," Callaway said.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Tebow Watch

Tim Tebow got the start at DH on Saturday, batting in the eighth spot against the Yankees. He received a warm welcome from the Tampa crowd, but he went 0-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts and a walk.

Tebow earned a walk against Yankees starter Luis Cessa on a 3-2 count in the second inning, and he forced a grounder against Dellin Betances in the fourth. Tebow looked at a questionable strike three on an outside pitch in the sixth, and he went down looking again in the eighth.

In six Grapefruit League games, Tebow is 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts. He has yet to play the field since hurting his ankle after stepping on a sprinkler on Feb. 25.

Give 'em the heater

Callaway has stressed to Mets pitchers this spring to focus on delivery mechanics and not to be afraid of throwing a fastball. The results are not necessarily their focus; instead, they should be comfortable with what their primary pitch is.

"I want them to know that they can go to their fastball, throw it where they want to, when the time comes," Callaway said. "During the season, it'll be a little bit different. The information will say something and we'll have to pitch accordingly, but right now in Spring Training, you throw your fastball."

Up next

Right-hander Jacob deGrom makes his first Grapefruit League start on MLB.TV after being sidelined with back stiffness so far this spring. deGrom will likely pitch two innings in the 1:10 p.m. ET home game against the Astros, but Callaway said if his pitch count is low enough, he could pitch the third.

Greg Zeck is a contributor to MLB.com.

New York Mets, Amed Rosario, Tim Tebow