Justin Ruggiano shut down with shoulder sprain

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From MLB.com beat writer Joe Frisaro comes word that the Marlins have shut down outfeilder Justin Ruggiano for the remainder of the 2012 season because of a sprained right shoulder that he suffered last Friday night while trying to make a diving catch.

Ruggiano does not need shoulder surgery and should be back near full health after a couple months of rest.

The 30-year-old was one of the few bright spots in a dismal season for the Fish, posting a .313/.374/.535 batting line, 13 home runs, 23 doubles and 36 RBI across 320 plate appearances. He also tallied 14 stolen bases and made multiple highlight-reel catches in the spacious outfield at Marlins Park.

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.