Tebow likely done for '18 with broken right hand

July 23rd, 2018

NEW YORK -- Over the first half of this season at Double-A Binghamton, Tim Tebow performed well enough, and for long enough, for a big league promotion to seem plausible. An Eastern League All-Star, Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 in 84 games, adding weight to general manager Sandy Alderson's preseason proclamation that he expected Tebow to make the Majors.

That dream will likely have to wait at least until next season. Tebow broke the hamate bone in his right hand last week, the Mets confirmed, and will undergo surgery on Tuesday. The operation typically carries with it a six- to eight-week recovery, which should take Tebow past the end of the Minor League season.

"I view this season as a complete positive," assistant general manager John Ricco said. "It's disappointing he's going to miss the last month, but to see a guy in a couple of short years competing at the Double-A level, and thriving [is impressive]. The last couple of months, he's been playing really well. I don't see how that can be anything but a positive."

Tebow, 30, hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games before injuring the hand while swinging a bat last Thursday. He underwent tests the following day and visited a specialist in New York on Monday.

The injury almost certainly ends what had been a breakout season for Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star who signed with the Mets late in 2016 to pursue a baseball career. Following a 2017 season spent at Class A ball, Tebow spent last offseason revamping his swing with the help of Nationals star , Mets hitting coach Pat Roessler and others. He showed up to Spring Training with a slimmer body and a shortened swing, which he used to great benefit at Binghamton.

Demonstrating improvement throughout the season, Tebow hit .226 in April, .241 in May, .301 in June and .340 in July. He went 1-for-4 with a double in the Eastern League All-Star Game.

"I have learned a lot," Tebow said this past month. "I am also continuing to make those adjustments and learning to improve based on the pitchers, series, games, all of that. I think, as a hitter, you have to have a short memory and also continue to be able to learn. I still think that there are a lot of things that I know I will improve on, and can improve on, and I am making those strides every day."

Neither Tebow nor the Mets have indicated how long they expect his baseball experiment to last, though Ricco said the team has no reason to believe Tebow is considering retiring.

"Obviously, the age factor is there and it's tough for him to miss this last month," Ricco said. "But I view this as nothing but a positive. He's really gone out and made great strides."