Shoulder injury keeps Takashi Saito off Braves' playoff roster

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After two weeks on the sidelines with a shoulder injury Takashi Saito made a tune-up appearance in the Braves’ second-to-last game of the season Saturday, retiring just one of the six batters he faced while allowing two runs on two hits and three walks.
It was an ugly appearance and not surprisingly the Braves have decided not to include Saito on the NLDS roster for their first-round series against the Giants. He could be added if the Braves advance to the NLCS, but Saito has already experienced several setbacks with the injury and is far from a sure thing to be ready by then.
Atlanta has no shortage of capable late-inning options in the bullpen, but losing Saito still hurts. Prior to the ugly tune-up appearance Saturday he posted a 2.52 ERA, .196 opponents’ batting average, and 69/14 K/BB ratio in 54 innings as Billy Wagner’s primary setup man.

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.