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Collin McHugh to be shut down for six weeks with elbow impingement

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Astros’ right-hander Collin McHugh has been shut down for six weeks, the team announced on Saturday. McHugh was diagnosed with posterior impingement in his right elbow, though the MRI did not reveal structural damage indicative of a UCL tear.

The veteran righty landed on the 10-day disabled list last Sunday with right shoulder tendonitis and was scheduled to make a rehab start in Triple-A Fresno. He pitched through one inning before exiting the game with elbow and biceps tightness and flew back to Houston to undergo further evaluation. He’ll be re-evaluated after six weeks and likely won’t be cleared to return to the mound until mid- to late May at the earliest.

Prior to his setback this spring, McHugh worked a 4.34 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 over 184 2/3 innings with the Astros. The club is expected to utilize right-handers Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers in the back end of their rotation until McHugh’s return.

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.