Jason Hammel on track to make rehab start Saturday

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Jason Hammel required arthroscopic surgery last month to removed a piece of loose cartilage from his right knee, but he’s inching closer to rejoining the Orioles’ rotation.

According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, Hammel threw 58 pitches earlier today in his second simulated game. He’s currently on track to make a minor league rehab start on Saturday, likely with High-A Frederick. If all goes well, he could rejoin the Orioles’ rotation on September 6 against the Yankees, though he would likely be limited to around six innings in his first start back.

Hammel was enjoying his best season in the big leagues prior to the surgery, compiling a 3.54 ERA and 106/39 K/BB ratio over 109 1/3 innings in 18 starts.

The Mets are strongarming Devin Mesoraco into retiring

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The Mets told catcher Devin Mesoraco on Saturday that he will not make the team, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported. Mesoraco, a major league veteran of eight seasons, said he won’t accept a reassignment to Triple-A. According to Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports, the Mets will place Mesoraco on the restricted list rather than release him. As a result, Mesoraco is expected to retire from baseball.

This is a bad look for the Mets. Most teams release the major league-caliber players they don’t plan to break camp with so they can pursue opportunities elsewhere. The Mets must really be hurting for catching depth.

Mesoraco, 30, was decent as the Mets’ back-up last season after coming over from the Reds in the Matt Harvey deal, batting .222/.306/.409 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 229 plate appearances. Mesoraco is a bit below-average defensively and spent much of the mid-2010’s on the disabled list dealing with hip and shoulder injuries.

On Monday afternoon, the Mets signed free agent catcher René Rivera, per SNY’s Andy Martino. Rivera was recently released by the Giants. He is less potent with the bat than Mesoraco, but a bit better defensively. Rivera will back up Wilson Ramos and Travis d'Arnaud will likely open the season on the injured list. Tomás Nido will be the third-string catcher behind Rivera.