Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies, who was arrested two years ago for cocaine possession before the charges were eventually dropped, has been suspended indefinitely by Double-A Reading.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Gillies “violated a team policy” and the situation has nothing to do with his previous arrest, but for the second time in three seasons the 23-year-old outfielder who came to the Phillies from the Mariners in the Cliff Lee swap will have to put his development on hold.
His off-field issues combined with hamstring problems and a concussion have limited Gillies to a grand total of just 77 games during the past three seasons. When in the lineup this year he played well, hitting .294 with an .815 OPS in 46 games, and the speedy center fielder has the potential to someday replace impending free agent Shane Victorino in Philadelphia.
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.