Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Jason Grilli pitched a simulated game on Wednesday and is nearing a return from a strained right forearm.

Grilli threw 25 pitches to a handful of teammates and said he is encouraged by the results. The 36-year-old has been on the disabled list since injuring his arm in a 6-5 victory over Washington on July 22.

Barring a setback, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle expects Grilli to make rehab appearance for Double-A Altoona on Saturday.

The right-hander made the All-Star team for the first time and was second in the NL with 30 saves at the time of the injury. Grilli said he won’t rush back.

Cano sits out with injured hand

Robinson Cano is out of the New York Yankees’ lineup a day after being hit by a pitch in the left hand. The star second baseman didn’t start Wednesday night at Toronto.

Cano was struck by a pitch from J.A. Happ in the first inning. Manager Joe Girardi said Cano was still dealing with pain and swelling. Girardi said he hoped to have Cano in the lineup Friday night against Baltimore.

The Yankees also were minus infielder Eduardo Nunez. He was scratched with a sore right knee. Mark Reynolds was set to make his first major-league start at second base.

Mets pitchers have elbow surgery

New York Mets pitchers Jenrry Mejia and Jeremy Hefner underwent elbow surgery. Mejia had a bone spur removed and hopes to be ready for the start of next season. Hefner had Tommy John surgery.

New York ace Matt Harvey, also on the disabled list, is hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery. He was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, but tweeted Tuesday that he’ll be back on the mound in April.

Around the leagues

The Atlanta Braves activated second baseman Dan Uggla from the disabled and optioned outfielder Todd Cunningham to Gwinnett. … The St. Louis Cardinals promoted right-hander Michael Blazek from Triple-A Memphis and demoted right-hander Carlos Martinez. … The Kansas City Royals optioned pitchers Wade Davis and Louis Coleman to Class A Wilmington. … The San Diego Padres recalled left-hander Robbie Erlin from Triple-A Tucson and optioned right-hander Brad Boxberger to Tucson.