Angels shortstop Erick Aybar had been aiming to return from the disabled list on Thursday — the first day he is eligible. But that has now been ruled out.
According to beat writer Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Aybar has reported to extended spring training in Tempe, Arizona but is not yet appearing in games. So he won’t be activated this week, and probably isn’t going to be back in his normal playing shape until the middle of next week.
Aybar, 29, was batting .321/.333/.393 with one RBI and four runs scored in 31 plate appearances before suffering a severe heel contusion on April 9. Brendan Harris has been filling in at short for Anaheim.
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.