MLB notebook: Mariano Rivera set to return to mound

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is expected to pitch in a game Saturday, the first time...

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is expected to pitch in a game Saturday, the first time since April 30 that he's thrown in anger. (QMI Agency file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

Mariano Rivera is expected to pitch in a game Saturday for the first time since April 30.

The New York Yankees closer suffered a season-ending knee injury while fielding fly balls during batting practice three days after his last MLB appearance.

He underwent surgery to repair the injury last June and only started throwing off a mound again Feb. 22.

“We’re not going to rush it. We have plenty of time,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the YES Network.

There’s also a chance Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who broke his ankle during the American League Championship Series in October, could complete his comeback over the weekend.

“He’s doing well. He’s progressing the way we want, so we’ll see where he is this week,” Girardi told MLB.com.

The Yankees face the Atlanta Braves on Saturday and the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

PAIN IN THE BUTT

Erik Bedard probably hoped his injury woes were all behind him.

Turns out they are ... literally.

The Canadian starting pitcher, who is attending the Houston Astros' spring camp as a non-roster invitee this year, was scratched from his last start due to an unlikely injury, and one that is likely to make him the butt of jokes with his teammates — a strained gluteal muscle.

Or, in the non-medical world, a strained butt muscle.

Injuries are nothing new to Bedard, although this one likely is. He’s been on the disabled list eight times in his career, had Tommy John surgery in 2003 and shoulder surgeries on two occasions.

“He’s been getting treatment and hopefully we get him back out there soon,” Astros manager Bo Porter told MLB.com.

The injury could mean Bedard, a 34-year-old from Navan, Ont., will be left, uh, behind when camp breaks at the end of the month.

He’s coming off a 7-14 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and has pitched just two innings this spring, so he needs to get more work in or he’ll be given the bum’s rush.

TEIXEIRA OUT LONG-TERM, HOSMER TO WBC

Mark Teixeira will be out of commission for 8-10 weeks due to a strained wrist tendon, the New York Yankees announced Tuesday.

The first baseman was injured after hitting off a tee Tuesday.

Teixeira will miss not only the start of the MLB season but the World Baseball Classic as well. Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer will take his spot on Team USA.

HAMELS NO FAN OF WBC

After getting torched by the Dominican Republic in a spring training game Tuesday, Cole Hamels was candid when asked what he thinks of the World Baseball Classic.

“I know to participate in something for your country is always an honour,” The Philadelphia Phillies starter told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “But I just know I'm glad ... the only decision I have to make is whether to play or not play. And I know I wouldn't help the team out in the position I'm always at in spring training when the (WBC) games are going on.”

Now, Hamels may have been a little upset after giving up 12 hits and eight runs in 2 2/3 innings, but the left-hander went on:

“It’s tough,” he said. “I know my allegiance is to the Phillies and this organization winning the World Series. I think winning the World Series is a little bit more important than whatever trophy they give for the World Baseball Classic. The World Series is ultimately the goal that I would go for no matter what they are throwing out there for the champions of the World Baseball Classic.”

BRIEFLY

Ryan Westmoreland, once a top Boston Red Sox prospect, retired at the age of 22. He is best known for having had brain surgery to repair a cavernous malformation in 2010 ... Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, out with an elbow injury, is hitting off a tee but will likely miss the season opener ... Delmon Young, asked to drop a few pounds upon signing with Philadelphia, has met his weigh-in incentives and will collect $600,000, but won’t be available to play until mid-April as he recovers from an ankle injury.


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