Lucas Duda to begin minor league rehab assignment Saturday

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Lucas Duda wasn’t able to return from to return from the disabled list when he was first eligible as the Mets originally hoped, but Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record reports that he’s set to begin a minor league rehab assignment Saturday with Double-A Binghamton.

Duda has been sidelined since August 21 with a thoracic herniation in his back. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Friday that it’s unlikely he’ll be ready when the team begins their big showdown against the Nationals on Monday, but he could be activated at some point later on in the series. Michael Cuddyer is also sidelined right now due to wrist tendinitis, so the Mets are relying on Kelly Johnson at first base.

Duda, 29, is batting .247/.346/.472 with 21 home runs and 56 RBI over 113 games this season.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week,¬†FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman¬†reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.