Pitcher Clay Hensley has retired, James Larken Smith of KFFE reports. Hensley, 34, spent seven seasons in the big leagues, pitching for the Padres, Marlins, and most recently the Giants in 2012. Over 517 career innings, Hensley posted an even 4.00 ERA with 317 strikeouts.
Last year, Hensley spent time in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats (Reds) and Nashville Sounds (Brewers), and also pitched with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. He had been trying to get back to the big leagues with the Nationals in spring training. Though Hensley didn’t allow a run, he served up five hits and four walks while striking out three in 4 1/3 innings. The Nationals released him in March 20.
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.