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Dodgers move Kenta Maeda back to the bullpen

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Despite throwing five solid innings against the Reds on Sunday, manager Dave Roberts said that Kenta Maeda is moving back to the bullpen, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Maeda, 29, has had a tough season, carrying a 5.16 ERA through his 10th start. He then moved to the bullpen and picked up his first career save on June 9 against the Reds with four innings of one-run ball. Maeda moved back into the rotation to start Sunday as the Dodgers are in the midst of a long stretch of games without an off day. He fired five innings and gave up only one run to the Reds on Sunday, lowering his ERA to 4.70.

Given the injury propensity of most of the Dodgers’ current starters, it’s realistic to assume that Maeda will eventually move back into the rotation.

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.