Jose Bautista’s return timetable “very much up in the air”

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Jose Bautista resumed swinging a bat last week, but the Blue Jays slugger isn’t close to returning from a sprained wrist.

Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that Bautista “is still experiencing some discomfort” and his return timetable “remains very much up in the air” 17 days after the injury.

Bautista told Chisholm that a hand specialist advised him “not to push it too hard, too soon” and framed it as a positive that he’s been able to take swings off a tee. He also indicated that returning before the injury is 100 percent healed won’t be an option because he doesn’t want to risk re-aggravating it.

In other words, don’t expect to see Bautista back in the middle of the Blue Jays’ lineup for a while.

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.