Johnny Cueto to return from disabled list Sunday, Tony Cingrani could stay in bullpen

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The Reds will activate right-hander Johnny Cueto from the disabled list to start tomorrow against the Brewers, reports Trent C. Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Cueto was placed on the disabled list on June 1 with a lat strain, so he’ll only miss the minimum 15 days. While he didn’t make a minor league rehab start, he made it through a couple of bullpen sessions this week without any issues.

Cueto has had two stints on the disabled list this year due to the lat issue, but he’s been excellent when on the mound, posting a 2.17 ERA and 34/13 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings over six starts. The Reds are surely hoping that the latest break will take care of the problem for good.

While the assumption has been that left-hander Tony Cingrani would head back to Triple-A Louisville when Cueto is ready to return, Reds manager Dusty Baker hinted today that they could keep him around in the bullpen. It could be a matter of necessity at the moment, as both Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton are on the disabled list.

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.