With Opening Day a little more than two weeks away, the Mets have begun pairing down their roster to narrow it down to the 25 players who will take the field against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. Officially, Jacob Rhame and Paul Sewald will not be in the Opening Day bullpen as they were last season. Instead, they have been optioned to minor league camp and will begin the season with Triple-A Syracuse.
Joining them in minor league camp are Arquimedes Caminero, Andres Gimenez, Dilson Herrera, Rymer Liriano, Ali Sanchez, and Tim Tebow. These six players were optioned by the Mets to minor league camp.
Caminero, Herrera, and Liriano had come to the Mets on minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. Each one of these players struggled in Spring Training making the option to send them down all the easier. Each one will now be in a position to fight for playing time in Syracuse.
Herrera joins a crowded Syracuse infield which is expected to include Gavin Cecchini, David Thompson, and Luis Guillorme. It is also expected at some point Gimenez, the top prospect in the Mets organization, will be in Syracuse as well.
Depending how the other Spring Training battles shake out, Liriano could be competing with some combination of Gregor Blanco, Rajai Davis, Carlos Gomez, Tebow, and potentially others for playing time. Finally, with Caminero, he’s already competing with Rhame and Sewald for innings out the bullpen.
In the end, the biggest story was Tebow, and he would speak with reporters about the decision which was a fait accompli before Spring Training began. Tebow spoke about how much he learned this Spring from both Robinson Cano and Chili Davis in terms of approach at the plate. Overall, Tebow would classify this as a better Spring Training experience saying, “This year was a much different atmosphere just being able to learn and improve and work and to show that as well.”
Ulimately, Tebow reaffirmed how he is all-in on working to improve and eventually become a Major League player. However, as Tim Healey of Newsday reported, Tebow said of Jose Canseco‘s offer, “I appreciate it, anybody wanting to work with me is humbling, he’s a great one at it. But we have a lot of great coaches here.”