The Braves had the right idea, at least. Sign some low-cost veterans for the rotation, which would serve the dual purpose of a) not forcing them to rush their prospects and b) give the fans a watchable brand of baseball in the brand new ballpark. For the most part, it was a success. R.A. Dickey has kept them in games, Jaime Garcia has done a bit better than that, and the Braves are just under .500, which is somewhere close to their best-case scenario.
However, unless the Mets promote him to New York for the sole purpose of the media and merchandising firestorm it’ll create make fun of Tebow all you want, but he’s the most popular player in the game right now thanks to his pre-baseball career he’s not making it to the bigs at this rate. He’s still got a couple of months left in his 20s, though, which is more than enough time to start tinkering with a knuckleball.
Hand Tebow a baseball. Tell him about how the thing to do is grip the pitch with your fingernails and push it toward home plate while keeping your wrist stable to minimize or completely remove any spin on the ball. Science takes care of the rest: Without the gyroscopic effect of spinning, the ball’s movement is unstable. Its seams create an uneven flow of air over the surface of the ball, pushing it in random directions.
Why the knuckleball, though? Tebow wouldn’t make it with any regular old conversion to pitching. He doesn’t have the arm strength for that it’s why scouts said he should play left field instead of right field, given left relies less on hard, accurate throws. Knucklers, though, don’t need to throw 100. They don’t need to throw 90. Hell, they don’t even need to throw 80. So long as his fastball is harder than his knuckleball and he can consistently throw it accurately, this would work.