Hours before he was scheduled to take the mound in Saturday’s contest against the Royals, Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez was placed on the 10-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis. The move is retroactive to August 2, though the Mariners have not elaborated on the cause or severity of Hernandez’s injury. In a best-case scenario, he likely won’t take the mound again until August 13.
It’s the second such stint for Hernandez, who served 58 days on the disabled list earlier this season after getting diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder. The 31-year-old went 5-4 in 13 starts between injuries and turned in a 4.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 over 73 2/3 innings. While his peripheral stats show an improvement over last season’s totals, his inability to stay healthy is both puzzling and concerning, especially for a club that’s still in the mix for a postseason berth this fall.
Minor league lefty Marco Gonzales was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday and is expected to start in Hernandez’s place against the Royals. The 25-year-old starter was acquired by the Mariners in exchange for Cardinals’ outfielder Tyler O’Neill in July, and has issued eight runs, five walks and nine strikeouts in 12 innings for Seattle’s Triple-A affiliate this year.
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.