Royals prospect Jake Odorizzi likely to debut Sunday

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Jake Odorizzi has yet to pitch since being called up by the Royals over the weekend, but it sounds like the 22-year-old top prospect will make his big-league debut Sunday.

Initially manager Ned Yost discussed easing Odorizzi into the mix with some relief work, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that he’s likely to start against the Indians in what will be the Royals’ final home game of the season. And if things go well that would line him up to potentially make a second start during the final week.

Odorizzi was acquired from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade and rated among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects for both last season and this season. He split this year between Double-A and Triple-A, throwing 145 innings with a 3.03 ERA and 135/50 K/BB ratio.

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.