JUPITER, Fla. -- A day after playing against the Cardinals' Class A Advanced team, Mets Minor Leaguer Tim Tebow moved his work into the stadium, giving the Cardinals' Major League club its first look at the former Heisman Trophy winner.
"That's quite a call-up, right?" manager Mike Matheny joked before the club fell, 5-4, to the Mets on Saturday.
Starter Michael Wacha faced Tebow twice, with each player winning one round. Wacha jumped ahead of Tebow, 0-2, in the second inning before Tebow fouled off a changeup. Wacha came back with a fastball that Tebow lined into left field.
Two innings later, Wacha froze Tebow on a two-strike curveball.
Asked if Tebow -- whose jersey had only a number (97) and no name on it -- looked like he belonged, Wacha responded: "I thought so."
"If someone wants to go play some baseball, I don't have any problem with it," he added. "Nothing too crazy."
The hit was Tebow's fourth this spring.
"You have to respect what the guy is able to do," Matheny said. "I've always been impressed with the way he has competed on the football field. I know there is a lot of stuff that comes with being who he is and trying to do what he's trying to do. It's not an easy task."
Lyons set for debut
Tyler Lyons is expected to make his first Grapefruit League appearance of the spring on Sunday, after passing all the requisite tests during multiple sessions of live batting practice.
Lyons came into camp still rehabbing from right knee surgery, which he underwent in November. But he accelerated his expected recovery timetable in order to position himself for a few game appearances.
There is still the possibility that Lyons opens the season on the disabled list, as that would give him additional time to log the innings he's missed up to this point. That would also give the Cardinals more time to determine where he might fit. Lyons is out of options, meaning that the Cardinals would risk losing him if he's active and not on the Major League roster.
When Matheny sent Matt Adams up to pinch-hit in the fifth, it was with the intention that it would be Adams' lone plate appearance of the day. Nick Mahrley then made sure of that.
Mahrley, serving as the home-plate umpire, tossed Adams from the game after calling him out on strikes. All it had taken, according to Matheny, was Adams uttering the word "terrible". As he walked down the right-field line and back to the Cardinals' clubhouse, Adams waved playfully at Mahrley.
"It's a shame," Matheny said of the ejection, the team's first this spring. "It's very weird. [The umpire] wanted to announce his presence with authority, I suppose."
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.