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Rick Porcello says Steven Wright owes team explanation for positive drug test

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Red Sox starter Rick Porcello is a hardliner when it comes to performance enhancing drug use in baseball. He has, in the past, expressed support for harsher penalties for those who test positive. In 2016, Porcello said, “I’m all in favor for a much, much more severe punishment or a lifetime ban.”

Teammate Steven Wright tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2) on Wednesday, resulting in an 80-game suspension. Wright said in a statement, “Although I do not dispute the validity of the test, I was shocked as I have nver intentionally ingested anything for performance-enhancing purposes.”

Porcello still thinks PED users should receive harsher penalties, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports. “It doesn’t change. I feel the same way that I felt in the past,” Porcello said.

Porcello also said Wright owes his Red Sox teammates an explanation for testing positive. Thus far, Wright has not addressed the team as a whole. It is not known yet if that will actually happen.

Wright, a knuckleballer, was limited to 53 2/3 innings last season due to injuries as well as a 15-game suspension under MLB’s domestic violence policy. When he did pitch, he was effective, posting a 2.68 ERA in four starts and 16 appearances out of the bullpen.

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.