UPDATE: Brian Roberts receives epidural in troublesome back

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Brian Roberts headshot.jpgUPDATE: Don’t count on seeing Roberts return after the minimum. Roberts will have to rest for 4-5 days after undergoing another epidural
injection in his back on Monday, according to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Team doctors believe Roberts re-aggravated his back on the very same slide where he suffered an abdominal strain last Friday.

11:54 AM: The Orioles have finally decided to place Brian Roberts on the 15-day disabled list, reports MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli.

The Baltimore second baseman suffered an abdominal strain during Friday’s game against the Blue Jays and did not see any playing time this weekend.  He is 2-for-14 through four games this season with a double and a run scored.  The move was made retroactive to April 10, so he will be eligible to return before the end of the month and is expected to do just that.

The Orioles called up infielder Justin Turner almost immediately after Roberts was injured and he’s expected to get a few starts at second base over the next two weeks.  Julio Lugo, also 2-for-14 in four games this season, will benefit the most.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.