Juan Nicasio to undergo knee surgery

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Juan Nicasio defied the odds this season by returning from a broken neck to make the Rockies’ starting rotation out of spring training. However, things haven’t exactly gone his way until this point.

Nicasio struggled to the tune of a disappointing 5.28 ERA through 11 starts before hitting the disabled list early last month with a strained left knee. The 25-year-old right-hander has already had the knee drained twice and now Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that he’ll undergo surgery on July 16 to remove a “floating body.”

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said the timetable for Nicasio’s return largely depends on whether doctors find other damage in the knee during surgery. Either way, he won’t be helping the struggling Rockies’ rotation in the near future.

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.