Reds manager admits Brandon Phillips came back from surgery too soon

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It’s common for people to play up the positive, tough-guy aspects of athletes playing through injuries and/or returning sooner than expected, but whenever that goes poorly–and it does, constantly–that’s often just brushed under the rug.

In related news, Reds manager Bryan Price admitted Wednesday that second baseman Brandon Phillips came back too soon from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament.

I think it all comes down to the inactivity, I don’t think there’s any question. You take six weeks off and he jumps right back in like he did. That’s on us, he wanted–we knew Brandon wanted to play, but that was in large part our willingness organizationally and my willingness as a manager to say yes. Sure, come on back, you played three games after six weeks, come on back.

Phillips is 8-for-54 (.148) in 14 games since coming off the disabled list “ahead of schedule.”

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.