A’s place A.J. Griffin on disabled list with shoulder injury

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A’s starter A.J. Griffin was lifted from Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays after less than two innings because of tightness in his throwing shoulder. An MRI taken soon after his departure ruled out major structural damage, but the right-hander is going to be sidelined for a while anyway.

According to the Athletics’ official Twitter feed, Griffin was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday afternoon due to what is being termed “shoulder inflammation.” The A’s also optioned Michael Taylor to Triple-A Sacramento and recalled pitchers Pedro Figueroa and Evan Scribner in a chain of corresponding roster moves.

Griffin, 24, has posted a fantastic 2.42 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 35/10 K/BB ratio through the first 44 2/3 innings (eight starts) of his major league career. He should be back on Oakland’s active roster in about three weeks.

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.