Scott Kazmir scratched with shoulder problems

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“Fatigued deltoid?”  Wall la-di-da and pardon me, your majesty, here in the real America we call it a sore shoulder:

Angels lefty Scott Kazmir was scratched Thursday from his scheduled
start with “tightness” in his shoulder. Manager Mike Scioscia said Kazmir began feeling “a little fatigue in his
deltoid” on Wednesday.

But Scioscia said as of now he doesn’t expect Kazmir to miss his first
regular-season start. Scioscia said as long as Kazmir can pitch in a
game by March 30 he will have enough time to build up endurance for the
season.

Generally speaking I like the Angels rotation, but there’s a lot of arm trouble history in that group. The really need Weaver and Kazmir to be horses in order to hold everything together, I think.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.