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Rivera won't play again this season

New York Mets infielder T.J. Rivera handles a grounder during spring training baseball practice Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)
September 2, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- T.J. Rivera's season has ended without a return to the big leagues.The Mets revealed Sunday that Rivera, who has not appeared in the Majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September, will not play again this year. The team had previously been hopeful that Rivera, who suffered

SAN FRANCISCO -- T.J. Rivera's season has ended without a return to the big leagues.
The Mets revealed Sunday that Rivera, who has not appeared in the Majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September, will not play again this year. The team had previously been hopeful that Rivera, who suffered a sprain of his surgically repaired elbow during a Minor League rehab assignment in July, could come off the disabled list in September.
All told, Rivera appeared in just six professional games -- five at Class A Advanced St. Lucie and one at Triple-A Las Vegas on a rehab assignment, going 4-for-22 with a double and four strikeouts. The Mets hope that with an offseason of rest, Rivera can return to the form he showed from 2016-17, batting .304 with eight home runs in 106 games.
Yet more obstacles than mere health await Rivera next spring. Even if the Mets do not sign a free-agent infielder over the winter, Jeff McNeil has passed Rivera on the team's depth chart due to his run of success from Double-A through the Majors. With Todd Frazier entrenched at third base, Amed Rosario at shortstop, McNeil a candidate to start at second and Wilmer Flores returning in a utility role, Rivera's best-case scenario involves making the 2019 team as another right-handed bench bat.
On the mend
Reliever Anthony Swarzak, who has not pitched since Aug. 3 due to right shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment Monday at Class A Short-Season Brooklyn. Swarzak, who signed a two-year, $14 million deal last winter, has pitched in just 22 games this year due to shoulder and oblique issues. He holds a 6.00 ERA.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.