Despite suffering a gruesome-looking ankle injury in Game 6 of the World Series Mike Napoli remained in the game and then played Game 7, but that’s the last time he’s been able to run.
It’s nearly three months later, but Napoli told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that he recently attempted to start running again and was unable to do so comfortably:
But it’s getting stronger. There was no reason for me to push it, but it’s getting stable. Dr. Meister looked at it and we’re on track. I’ll be ready for spring training.
Obviously if the injury had taken place during the regular season Napoli would have missed significant time, so it’s pretty remarkable that he was able to play another game-and-a-half on it in the World Series. Oh, and he was squatting half the time as the Rangers’ catcher.
X-rays were negative and surgery was deemed unnecessary, with Durrett now referring to the injury as “stretched ligaments.”
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.